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INFSY 554: Master's Project

All about ScholarSphere

Introduction

ScholarSphere is Penn State’s institutional repository, a storage and discovery service for research and scholarly work produced by the university community. You will deposit your Master’s Paper in ScholarSphere to share your work on a world-wide scale and ensure its preservation and perpetual access.

A ScholarSphere deposit is preferred to bound paper thesis copies because:

  • It does not cost you anything to process
  • It is always accessible
  • You can easily share your work with those outside of the Penn State community

Click here for more information about ScholarSphere

To create an account, visit https://scholarsphere.psu.edu/ and select Login.

  • You will need to use WebAccess in order to authenticate.
  • Documents uploaded to ScholarSphere should be limited to research and research data.
  • Do not upload resumes/CVs or other personal documents.

Your Account ScholarSphere Accounts have several components which are all user-managed:

  • Your Profile, which contains directory information about you (program of study, PSU email)
  • Your Dashboard, which houses statistics about your works and permissions for each work, and upload interfaces
  • Works – your individual uploads
  • Collections – groups of your works on a specific theme

Sharing Your Work

Open access and scholarly inquiry are more and more intertwined. ScholarSphere provides a platform for you to share your research using Open Access principles (ie, making it freely accessible to other scholars/researchers) while you retain your copyright and intellectual property. For each work you upload, or is uploaded on your behalf, you will select the copyright permissions you wish to retain, as well as the level of access to your work by the public.

Your work may be discoverable by others, so it is important that you maintain high levels of quality in writing, citations, and academic integrity.

Discovering Other’s Work

Open Access scholarship, such as that deposited in ScholarSphere and other institutional repositories, can serve not only as an example for developing your Master’s paper, but can provide an avenue to access research that may otherwise be behind a paywall. Currently, the methods for discovering master’s papers and other works within ScholarSphere are somewhat limited unless you know the paper’s author or the paper title.

We hope that through a more robust upload process with current and future Master’s students, to make these papers more discoverable for the benefit of all.

Using the search box, you can browse for papers by author, keyword, or title, much like you would in a library database. Within your results, many filters are available for refinement. Pay particular attention to the “resource type” filter, and focus on those labeled as capstone project, thesis, or master’s culminating experience, master’s thesis. Some may have location data attached, and other filters may be helpful, depending on your subject area.

As you browse, keep in mind that papers are only as discoverable as their metadata allow them to be – put a great deal of thought into yours as you prepare to upload your project.