After two years of working for Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, I’ve undertaken many more projects since my first assignment for our department. To date, my greatest undertaking has been creating an Event Community for the “International Conference on the Epidemiology & Control of Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards in Pigs and Pork” – or SafePork for short. The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production. I began and completed this project over the summer, working with Dr. Annette O’Connor from the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic & Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM), who with several other Veterinary Medicine faculty members has been highly involved in presenting and facilitating these conferences. The details of my project consisted of acquiring, splitting, and organizing the PDFs of the conferences and uploading this information onto an event community within DR@ISU, which I worked in conjunction with Bepress to organize.
While many of my previous projects had included uploading PDFs and manuscripts to DR@ISU, the SafePork project took these experiences and applied them to a whole new level. In this case, I was dealing with a conference series spanning almost two decades and published in ten volumes. Working with existing PDFs from the SafePork site, I set to work splitting the individual articles into separate files to be saved in our departmental drive. Given the sheer volume of files involved in this project, I created spreadsheets for each conference with the assistance of Bepress to upload the files and their accompanying metadata at one time. At the same time, I helped design the DR site by serving as a mediator between Bepress and the VDPAM faculty to ensure that the web-design met the expectations of our University’s faculty. Once the site was ready to go live, I worked with Harrison to upload the metadata spreadsheets and ensure that everything was accessible.
Since this event community’s publication, over 2,000 copies of articles have been downloaded, increasing public access to the research of our University’s faculty and other researchers around the world. This project marks the fourth conference series which DR@ISU has published, and the first of these to be published in full. As our department continues to grow, so will the accessibility of proceedings such as these, as well as a wider range of research and scholarship produced by our Iowa State Community. In these last two years, I have taken great pleasure in seeing the influence of our department grow, and I hope to continue assisting in projects like this one in my remaining semesters here. For this project and others, I’d like to extend special thanks to our department coordinator Harrison Inefuku, as well as Dr. Annette O’Connor of VDPAM and Dan Randlemon of Bepress Digital Commons.
Benjamin Spick is a junior in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He began working with the Digital Repository in November 2012.