SOURCE, Sheridan’s institutional repository, launched in October 2015 at the school’s inaugural Scholars and Creators Conference.  It is a significant milestone in Sheridan’s journey to becoming a university as we have now joined thousands of colleges and universities in which institutional repositories are the norm, preserving and disseminating the scholarly, creative, and artistic output produced within the institution. The development and support of scholarly tools like SOURCE is essential for individuals in our academic community to share their work and be celebrated for their broad and exciting contributions to knowledge.

The team in Sheridan Library and Learning Services recognized how critical it was to build an institutional repository. The work libraries are known for - preserving knowledge and making it accessible to the world, being champions for scholars and creators, and having a deep knowledge of scholarly communication and publishing - was key to the development of SOURCE and its ongoing operation.  A committee of administrators, faculty and staff from across Sheridan came together to evaluate and select repository software and ensure its design would reflect the needs of our community. A competition to name the new repository was held and the winning entry, SOURCE (Scholarly Output Undergraduate Research Creative Excellence), was nominated twice.

SOURCE currently contains academic journal articles, books, conference presentations, Theatre Sheridan productions, and videos contributed by Sheridan faculty and staff, along with exemplary student work. Traffic arrives to SOURCE directly through online searches in tools like Google Scholar and by browsing the site directly.

SOURCE celebrates its first year with some impressive achievements:

  • Over 400 documents uploaded
  • Over 4600 total downloads (October 2016)
  • Visitors from 89 countries* including India, Norway, the United States, Spain, Japan, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Malaysia and China
  • Accessed by 338 institutions of higher education including Boston University, University of the Free State in South Africa, Cardiff University, University of Toronto, the University of Exeter, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, the City University of New York, Ghent University, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Named in the Top 10 schools for downloads from the Arts & Humanities community on the Digital Commons Network

*Readership Distribution: October 2015 – October 2016

Readership Distribution: October 2015 – October 2016

The two most downloaded academic papers have been:

  • The Politics of Podcasting co-authored by Michael Brendan Baker (FHASS)
  • The Social Organization of South Asian Immigrant Women’s Mothering in Canada by Ferzana Chaze (FAHCS)
Academic papers

In 2015-2016 many remarkable projects were featured in SOURCE, including Professor of Creativity Brandon McFarlane’s project The Sheridan Notebook, which synthesizes mindful note-taking with adult colouring. McFarlane says that sharing the notebook on SOURCE was a natural choice given his goals for the project: “SOURCE provided an easy and powerful solution to reach a large audience. I thought about making an entire website but SOURCE offered a better alternative to engage audiences beyond the Sheridan community, along with a team of collaborators who helped design the Notebook for e-publication.” In just over one week, The Sheridan Notebook received over 300 downloads and had readership from Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Ireland, Austria, Australia, and Malaysia.  

Sheridan Notebook

Similarly, Professor of Anthropology Anna K. Boshnakova saw the value of including her students’ work on SOURCE. In her Cultural Anthropology course, students created their visual interpretation of the discipline. This became a collection of student creation assignments and is a unique archive of students’ creative thinking, imagination, originality, broad curiosity and love of knowledge. Anna notes that “As a professor, I admire and respect the talent of my students and I am so happy to have this excellent opportunity to celebrate their creativity, sharing the collections of assignments globally. SOURCE translates the professional attitude, knowledge and skills of our students, faculty and staff in many different symbolic forms and is a remarkable archive of the intellectual and creative potential of our institution.”

SOURCE also captures and preserves Sheridan ephemeral achievements, such as Creative Campus conferences and events and Theatre Sheridan productions. Using Theatre Sheridan program inserts from the actual performances as a downloadable artefact, the SOURCE team’s goal is to create records back to Theatre Sheridan’s inaugural year of 1972.  Records from 2007 to the present are now available. This includes the first performance of the Canadian Musical Theatre Project, Come From Away and the award winning Brantwood. Theatre Sheridan records are one of the most downloaded series on SOURCE, with worldwide readership, including China, where Sheridan College will be teaming up with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre to create a musical based on the life of Dr. Norman Bethune.


As SOURCE moves into its second year we will continue to focus on preserving and sharing the work which makes the people at Sheridan stand out. This includes exploring new ways to share knowledge produced at Sheridan, including academic journals, with SOURCE’s open-access publishing platform.


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