The 2020 ReSEARCH Dialogues in-person events in April were cancelled in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, Lisa Piazza, Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor, wanted to create another opportunity for participants to be recognized for their work and showcase their scholarship. Piazza reached out to Scholarly Communications Librarian Rachel Fleming, and they collaborated on creating an online opportunity for all ReSEARCH Dialogues participants using the UTC Library’s UTC Scholar platform. UTC Scholar provides open access to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s research, creative works, and publications.
ReSEARCH Dialogues is the largest academic conference on the UTC campus. Each spring, the event showcases the scholarship and creative endeavors of more than 750 UTC faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff, as well as members of the local Chattanooga community in a two-day event. Fleming quickly developed a new UTC Scholar home for ReSEARCH Dialogues Conference proceedings to house the conference schedule and host the research and creative works of participants. The site was populated with the conference schedule of nearly 350 posters and presentations, providing a lasting record of presenters, session or poster titles and abstracts.
Presenters were invited to submit their works – posters, presentation slides or papers, and even recorded presentations – for inclusion in the proceedings. Submissions are now posted on the 2020 ReSEARCH Dialogues Conference proceedings UTC Scholar site. In less than a month, abstracts have been viewed nearly 1,500 times, and posters and presentations have received over 150 downloads from 19 countries.
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor and the Library hope to build on the partnership. ReSEARCH Dialogues will continue to offer conference proceedings online through UTC Scholar, and the collaboration hopes to develop other avenues for sharing undergraduate research and creative works at UTC through UTC Scholar.