Maryland Shared Open Access Repository

MD-SOAR is a shared digital repository platform for twelve colleges and universities in Maryland. It is currently funded by the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Library Consortium ( and other participating partner institutions. MD-SOAR is jointly governed by all participating libraries, who have agreed to share policies and practices that are necessary and appropriate for the shared platform. Within this broad framework, each library provides customized repository services and collections that meet local institutional needs. Please follow the links below to learn more about each library's repository services and collections.



Communities and Collections | By Issue Date | Author | Titles | Subjects | Type


Institutions in MD-SOAR

Select a community to browse its collections.

Recent Submissions

(2023-12) Christopher Jensen; Melanie Lytle; Cynthia Olnick; Thompson M. Mayes; MA in Historic Preservation
This thesis argues that love of place and wellbeing are fundamental aspects of historic preservation, and that historic preservationists should engage with the public to emphasize how preservation can enhance emotional wellbeing for individuals and communities. In this treatise, I review evidence of love of place and wellbeing presented in prior research, including resources such as Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perceptions, Attitudes, and Values by Yi-Fu Tuan, Why Old Places Matter by Thompson Mayes, and studies such as The Melbourne Lovability Index Industry Report. Through this research, I demonstrated that historic places have a direct link to people's emotional attachment to place, such as love of place. Additionally, I review sources for wellbeing in heritage, such as The Impact of Historic Places and Assets on Community Wellbeing, People-Centred Methodologies for Heritage Conservation, and Heritage, Health, and Wellbeing, which reveal that historic places have a direct impact on human emotional wellbeing. The purpose and scope of this thesis is to help preservationists address love of place, its intersection with wellbeing, and how to communicate with people that historic preservation is valuable and contributes to human wellbeing. This thesis is intended to contribute to an ongoing conversation in historic preservation, with the expectation that future discussions will address regulatory measures and criteria changes related to wellbeing and love of place.
Using XR for Improving Scientific Discovery with Numerical Weather Models
(IEEE, 2023-10-20) Grubb, Thomas; Kullman, Kaur; Clune, Thomas; Lait, Leslie; Zwicker, Matthias; Guimond, Stephen; West, Ruth; Eastman, Roger; Afflerbach, Ian; Engel, Don
Our work explores the use of extended reality (XR) to improve scientific discovery with numerical weather/climate models that inform Earth science digital twins, specifically the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) global atmospheric model. The overall project is named the Visualization And Lagrangian dynamics Immersive eXtended Reality Toolkit (VALIXR), which has two main areas of focus: (1) enhancing the understanding of and interaction with model output data through advanced visualizations in the XR environment, and (2) the integration of Lagrangian dynamics into the GEOS model, which allows a natural, feature-specific analysis of Earth science phenomena as opposed to traditional, fixed-point Eulerian dynamics. Here, we report initial work on these focus areas.
Towards More Transactional Voice Assistants: Investigating the Potential for a Multimodal Voice-Activated Indoor Navigation Assistant for Blind and Sighted Travelers
(ACM, 2021-05-07) Ali Abdolrahmani; Maya Gupta; Mei-Lian Vader; Ravi Kuber; Stacy M. Branham
Voice assistants (VAs) – like Amazon Alexa or Siri – offer hands-/eyes-free interactions that are beneficial to a range of users, including individuals who are blind, to fulfill tasks that are otherwise difficult or inaccessible. While these interfaces model conversational interactions to achieve simple tasks, there have been recent calls for VAs that model more transactional interactions for a wider range of complex activities. In this study, we explored the extension of VAs’ capabilities in the context of indoor navigation through mixed-ability focus groups with blind and sighted airport travelers. We found high overlap in the difficulties encountered by blind and sighted travelers, as well as shared interest in a voice-activated travel assistant to improve travel experiences. Leveraging user-elicited recommendations, we present interaction design examples that showcase customization of different and multiple modalities, which collectively demonstrate how VAs can more broadly achieve transactional interactions in complex task scenarios.
Investigating the Navigational Habits of People who are Blind in India
(ACM, 2021-10-17) Anirudh Nagraj; Ravi Kuber; Foad Hamidi; Raghavendra S.G. Prasad
Assistive navigational technologies offer considerable promise to people who are blind. However, uptake of these technologies has traditionally been lower in low and middle income countries (LMICs), where levels of investment and maintenance in infrastructure differ from upper middle (UMICs) and high income countries (HICs). In this paper, we describe a qualitative study undertaken with 14 people who identify as legally-blind in an LMIC (India) to understand their experiences and strategies used when navigating within a metropolitan area. We highlight a set of scenarios impacting people who are blind within the context studied. These include crossing busy highways, navigating in the rainy season, collaborating with others to navigate at night, and using older public transportation. Our work brings attention to areas where the latest successful and well-publicized innovations in blind navigation may fall short when used in an Indian metropolitan area. We suggest that designers should be cognizant of the role that infrastructure (particularly its shortcomings) and environmental factors may play when navigating in LMICs such as India, with a view to designing assistive navigational technologies to better match the needs of users within these contexts.