NAU launches online database featuring student and faculty work

Brittany Blanchard and Wendy Holliday

Contributions by the NAU community can now be found in an online repository designed to collect and preserve the intellectual and creative output of faculty, staff and students.

The database is called OpenKnowledge, and hosts a rich gathering of works from scientific research to thesis papers, to musical performances and photography. The all-inclusive database gives the campus community a platform through which to be discovered while making their work more accessible to a wider global audience.

“The great thing about OpenKnowledge is that it’s completely free,” said Wendy Holliday, head of Teaching, Learning, and Research Services at Cline Library. “Anybody anywhere can discover it via Google or Google Scholar. You simply search, click and have access to the information right away without having to pay fees.”

She hopes that this database will extend the campus’s global impact, help federally funded researchers comply with grant requirements, advance interdisciplinary and public collaboration and promote long-term preservation and access.

“The fact that this is available to anyone allows places that have limited resources access to the abundance of scholarly data,” said Brittany Blanchard, research programs librarian at Cline Library. “But it also benefits our students. Throughout their schooling here at NAU, they’re taught how to search databases and how important this research is, but as soon as they graduate, they don’t get access to these databases anymore. OpenKnowledge provides that access.”

The government recently mandated institutions with federally funded research create online databases to publish scholarly outputs, creative outputs, student works and items of institutional importance.

Currently, university libraries are spending millions of dollars each year to keep up with scholarly subscriptions, Holliday said. She said that the government requiring this information be made public will save the institution money. “We’re always trying to keep costs down and this is a way to do it.”

The OpenKnowledge database was launched with more than 700 items for the initial online publishing, and with faculty constantly adding more material, that number grows daily.

Individuals interested in adding the work to the database should contact the repository team at

NAU Communications