ScholarSphere “Office Hours”


office desk by Sean MacEntee
via Flickr CC BY 2.0

More ScholarSphere office hours are coming up, with a chance for the campuses to tune in as well! Brandy Karl, Copyright Office in the Libraries, will also be on hand to field questions.

Dates and times for virtual and in-person office hours are as follows (UP location is Paterno 126A):

  • Tuesday, March 10: 3-4 PM
  • Wednesday, March 11: 12-1 PM
  • Thursday, March 12: 1-2 PM

Simply go to (no need to register), and we’ll kick off with a brief overview of the service, followed by Q&A. Note: Any UP colleagues may join me in Paterno 126A and ask questions in person, in addition to viewing the PowerPoint.

What’s the advantage? With the passage of the Open Access Policy on February 11, 2015, in the Libraries, these office hours are an excellent opportunity to brush up on ScholarSphere, ask questions about uploading content, creating collections, sharing permissions, transferring ownership, proxy deposit, and more! Use this time, too,  to tell us what features you’d like to see!

ScholarSphere has a sandbox to “play” in. Never deposited before to ScholarSphere and wary of using the “real” site to do it? We have a demo, or sandbox, environment you can use to try out ScholarSphere. Come to the office hours to learn about “ScholarSphere Demo”!

Code Sprinting for Fedora 4

Dan Coughlin, Director of Software Development in ITS, blogs about Penn State migrating ScholarSphere to Fedora 4 – a leading contribution for the Hydra software community.

As we closed out January, the ScholarSphere development team was hard at work for a two-week code sprint. What’s a code sprint? All developers clear their calendars and work collectively on a common project or, in this case, a specific feature within a project to create a big push towards completion. Usually a sprint lasts for a week or two–where developers share a conference room, chocolate, coffee, and goldfish.

Photo of cheese-flavored goldfish crackers inside their package.

Goldfish by Cindy Stuntz at Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The goal for this sprint was to integrate the latest and greatest version of Fedora (Fedora 4) into our ScholarSphere testing environment. We want to make sure it works on our testing environment before releasing it on the live site to help minimize inconveniences to you, the user. ScholarSphere currently runs on Fedora 3; Fedora 3 handles most of the preservation functionality for our files (checksums, storage of technical metadata, versioning, etc.).

Penn State is likely to have the first Hydra application running Fedora 4 later this spring. Great! What does this mean to you? The two biggest areas of focus for improvement on Fedora 4 are file size and speed. ScholarSphere will be able to handle larger files and process those files more quickly than before. Unfortunately, the web isn’t the greatest method for uploading files of multiple gigabytes, so we will be exploring other ways (besides via the ScholarSphere web page) for our users to deposit large files into the service. In fact, if you have large files (1-10 GB) we would love to hear from you and discuss your ideas about how to deposit these files in a way that best meets your needs. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to hearing from you!

ScholarSphere Drop-In Hours: New Year, New Habits

It’s 2015 – do you know where your data are kept? Do you have publications you’ve been meaning to share in post-print or pre-print form? Need help understanding what IS a pre-print or a post-print? Or, perhaps more important, determining what’s OK to put in ScholarSphere?
Icon for uploading files, showing an arrow pointing upward.Want a walk-through of the service and get your questions answered about what it can do for you? Have ideas for the service you’d like to share?

The ScholarSphere Service Team has organized a few drop-in hours for anyone to come by and get advice and help on using ScholarSphere, or to talk with us about what you’re interested in seeing in the service in the future. We’ll be available in various instruction rooms on the following dates/times:

Graphic design showing nine yellow squares, intended to represent collections.

ScholarSphere overview sessions will be conducted for the campuses via Adobe Connect. Those will be organized for the latter half of February and early part of March – stay tuned!

If you’re needing a refresher on ScholarSphere, which has gone through several releases since 1.0 in September 2012, then these are the sessions for you. The start of a new year is also a great time to get serious about keeping track of your data sets and other research, with experts in the room to help and get you launched on a new habit!