About FireScholars


What it is and why you should use it

Whether you are a student just completing an honors research project or a seasoned professor with a preprint of a new article, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would you like to make the full text of your work easy to find online and instantly available to a broad readership in an electronic, open access environment?
  • How about the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your work resides in a trusted, sustainable, and fully accessible digital repository?
  • Perhaps you're the editor of a print-based journal—how would you like to reach a new global readership online while maintaining your journal's branded look and identity?

These are just some of the services provided by FireScholars, the university's centralized exchange for SEU University journals, faculty webpages, conference proceedings, exemplary student research, and other forms of scholarship. FireScholars, a service of the Steelman Library, is a digital repository and publication platform designed to collect, preserve, and make accessible the academic output of SEU faculty, students, staff, and affiliates.

Some Advantages of FireScholars

  • Items in FireScholars are search engine optimized, meaning that they appear high in the search results of sites like Google and Google Scholar.
  • Authors and editors receive regular download reports.
  • FireScholars provides workflows for peer-review publishing, conference management, and individual scholar sites.
  • FireScholars can support multimedia materials, including datasets, audio files, and video.

Requesting Journal Hosting

FireScholars provides an online, open access or subscription-based publishing platform for SEU-based or affiliated journals. Open access publishing in association with institutional repositories, such as FireScholars, has emerged as a viable alternative to commercial publishing, and represents the vanguard of scholarly communication. More than a simple repository, FireScholars includes journal management software to manage the entire editorial process online in a streamlined, efficient, and purely electronic manner. Editors can easily customize workflows, control their journal settings and policies, and manage the submission process online. The built-in peer-review module simplifies and expedites the peer-review process by tracking submission and referee activity, automatically emailing appropriate reminders, and providing a mechanism for anonymous correspondence between reviewer and author. Furthermore, web design options in FireScholars allow your journal to maintain its branded look or identity, including cover art.

FireScholars Journal Hosting Policies

For those interested in starting a new journal in FireScholars, please review the following policies and procedures and contact the Digital Commons Committee Designee to begin the setup procedure.

  1. Journals are encouraged to be open access compliant. Although subscription-based journals are a possibility in FireScholars, our goal is to provide open access for all journals that are published in the repository. Therefore, priority support will be given for journals that are open access immediately upon publication. Library staff will work with departments that seek to have a subscription-based journal only if they are willing to consider a two-year or less embargo. (In other words, provide open access to back issues after no more than two years after publication.)
  2. Journals should be considered ongoing in nature. In order to ensure the sustainability of all journals, all requests must first be approved by the administrative head of the department or division from which the journal originates. Student initiatives must additionally have a dedicated faculty sponsor.
  3. Peer-reviewed journals should have an editorial board. An editorial board should be designated to serve as the body overseeing the editorial policies, and to manage the peer- review procedures. If the editorial board is comprised of students, at least one faculty member must be on the editorial board to help ensure continuity.
  4. Authors retain their copyright. All authors of individual articles retain their copyright to the works submitted; however, all submissions become a permanent part of the FireScholars repository. Once deposited, an article will not be withdrawn unless removal is legally required or special circumstances intervene (such as factual inaccuracy, plagiarism, or potential copyright infringement). All authors must click through an agreement statement specific to your journal that includes deposit in FireScholars.
  5. Journals will be assigned an ISSN. The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is the unique identifier used to distinguish serials. If the journal exists currently as a print publication, a separate ISSN will be assigned for the online publication. For more information on ISSN see: http://www.loc.gov/issn/faq.html.
  6. Advertising and promotion is the responsibility of the publishing department or entity. Steelman Library is not responsible for promoting or publicizing your journal.

Procedures for requesting the start of a new journal

  1. Fill out and submit a New Journal Request Form. All requests to start a journal in FireScholars must be accompanied by a completed New Journal Request Form. This form can be requested from the Digital Commons Committee Designee and includes basic content and design information about your journal, as well as information regarding the editorial staff and desired editorial workflow. This form must also be signed by a faculty sponsor.
  2. Approval of request. All requests will be reviewed by the Digital Commons Committee Designee. In order to allow sufficient time, please submit requests at least two months prior to desired launch date for your journal.
  3. Implementation—the Library's responsibilities. Upon approval of a request, library staff will:
    • Set up the journal site within FireScholars
    • Provide training on administering the journal site to editors
    • Submit information on the journal to the Directory of Open Access Journals: http://www.doaj.org
    • Submit a request for an ISSN for the journal

    • Notify cataloging when we have an ISSN in order to add the journal title to our catalog for increased discovery and access
  4. Implementation—the journal editors' responsibilities. Journal editors, or a similar entity representing the stewardship of the journal, or journal staff have the following responsibilities:
    • Journal editors will approve the basic design and content of the journal's FireScholars site developed by the library or Berkeley Electronic Press.
    • Following training by library staff, editors or journal staff will upload present and future content (journal articles/issues) to the journal FireScholars site.
    • Following training by library staff, editors or journal staff will scan (as necessary) and upload preexisting journal content (journal articles/issues) to the journal FireScholars site.
    • Following training by Library staff, editors will manage the editorial workflow for their journal, including the submission process, peer-review (if relevant), selection, revisions, communications with authors, etc.
  5. Discontinuation of a journal. If no new content or issues are produced for two consecutive years, the journal will be considered to have "ceased publication." The FireScholars administrator will contact the department head or faculty sponsor and confirm that the journal is no longer being published and appropriate notices will be placed in FireScholars and in the catalog record.

Conference/symposia management and posting

In addition to providing backend management for journal publishing, FireScholars also provides tools for organizing and managing academic conferences or symposia and then posting the proceedings online. With the FireScholars management software, conference organizers have the tools to easily manage electronic paper submission, peer review, acceptance, permissions, and publication. They can post the event schedule and the embedded registration directly on the conference site. Papers and presentations from the event, including supplementary multimedia files, appear in a "series" in FireScholars, which are typically organized by research unit, center, or department.

For more information on using FireScholars to organize your next conference and publish its proceedings online, see How to request and build a series in FireScholars in the section below.

Posting working papers, preprints, datasets, student work, etc.

FireScholars also provides an online, open access publishing platform for SEU-based or affiliated academic work in a variety of other contexts and formats. These include:

  • Published articles or preprints when copyright and/or license allow
  • Books or book chapters when copyright and/or license allow
  • Working papers, conference papers, and technical reports
  • Honors theses/capstones, graduate and undergraduate theses, and other distinguished student work
  • Datasets
  • Institutional or organizational newsletters, reports, and related materials

Like conference and symposium materials, these types of works typically take the form of a series in FireScholars organized by research unit, center, or department.

How to request and build a series in FireScholars

  • Please review our content submission guidelines
  • Contact the Digital Commons Committee Designee with series proposal or description of the ?work that you would like to submit to the repository. Please include the following at a minimum:
    • Name of series/work: Department, academic unit, or related discipline
    • Date of work(s) or event
    • Name(s) of primary contact(s)
    • Actual or anticipated breadth of material to upload (e.g. number of articles, presentations, papers, etc.)
    • Actual or anticipated file formats (e.g. PDF, spreadsheet, audio file, etc.)
    • Extent of series, such as whether it will continue to populate in the future
  • If accepted, Library staff will create the series and train the submitting party to upload and manage the event/materials.
  • Authors participating in series hosted by FireScholars are asked to sign a Non-Exclusive Release Form for Use of Materials, which should be collected by the series/event organizer and submitted to Digital Commons Committee Designee.

Steelman Library thanks Pepperdine University Libraries for permission to adapt and use their Digital Commons informational web page.