Opening Up: Building an Online Commons to Facilitate Community-University Engagement

Tuesday, March 15 | 2:00PM–2:20PM ET | Room 552
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Demonstration

In 2018, the Northeastern University Library saw a gap in university-provided information systems; all information systems the university was investing in were available only to Northeastern affiliates. The leaders of the library understood that interdisciplinary research does not happen in a closed-loop system. Thus began the creation of the Northeastern Commons inspired by the Humanities Commons. The Commons focuses on fostering collaboration between Northeastern affiliates and the broader worldwide community through an open information system any partner or affiliate can join and use. On the Commons, users can create or join discussion groups based on research, courses, or events, as well as locate and connect with others interested in similar academic interests or community-based projects. In the presentation we will go over the creation and iterations of the Commons using user experience principles to prioritize users’ needs and discuss emerging use cases for the Commons. Lastly, we will discuss the future of the Commons and how we foresee it further integrating itself into the Northeastern information ecosystem with an emphasis on nurturing interdisciplinary research and opening up Northeastern’s research ecosystem to our broader communities.


  • Meg McMahon

    User Experience Librarian NCC, Northeastern University
  • Jeanine Rodriguez

    Web Developer, Northeastern University

Resources & Downloads

  • Tues_OpeningUp_Presentation

    Updated on 2/23/2022