Introduction for the General Reader

What is OpenScholar?

  • OpenScholar is a web-based system designed to make it easy for academic professionals to create and maintain personal or project websites without any special software or technical skills.
  • It includes ready-made features useful for scholarly sites: publications, class pages, blogs, calendar, and photo galleries.
  • You can have a fully functional, professional website within minutes.  

Who can request a site?

  • Any SAS faculty member, graduate student, or professional staff member.

To request a site

Getting started with your site

  1. Go to your site and log in with your PennKey.
  2. Mouse over items in the banner. A blue triangle (▼) will appear, providing a menu that will let you configure each item: the title, subtitle, and logo.
  3. Then, use the Control Panel to set up the structure and appearance of your site.
  4. First, use Appearance to select a theme (and a variation).
  5. Use Site Building > Features to enable features for the site.
  6. Use Site Building > Layout to arrange widgets in regions for each kind of page.
  7. “Add New Widget” gives access to more widgets, including the very useful “Custom text/html” and “Single Image” widgets.
  8. Use the “Back to [your site]” button to return from the Control Panel to the public site.
  9. Look for the “Need help getting started?” menu for productive suggestions (not available in all themes).
  10. Look for the green “add” button to add new content.
  11. 10. Mouse over an area or item to see contextual menus that apply to it. In particular, look for the blue triangle (). Click on it to configure, edit, delete, or feature an item.

Support

OpenScholar

This booklet contains an evolving collection of materials related to support of OpenScholar.

Use the Table of Contents in the sidebar to visit the pages of this booklet.

Introduction for the General Reader

What is OpenScholar?

  • OpenScholar is a web-based system designed to make it easy for academic professionals to create and maintain personal or project websites without any special software or technical skills.
  • It includes ready-made features useful for scholarly sites: publications, class pages, blogs, calendar, and photo galleries.
  • You can have a fully functional, professional website within minutes.  

Who can request a site?

  • Any SAS faculty member, graduate student, or professional staff member.

To request a site

Getting started with your site

  1. Go to your site and log in with your PennKey.
  2. Mouse over items in the banner. A blue triangle (▼) will appear, providing a menu that will let you configure each item: the title, subtitle, and logo.
  3. Then, use the Control Panel to set up the structure and appearance of your site.
  4. First, use Appearance to select a theme (and a variation).
  5. Use Site Building > Features to enable features for the site.
  6. Use Site Building > Layout to arrange widgets in regions for each kind of page.
  7. “Add New Widget” gives access to more widgets, including the very useful “Custom text/html” and “Single Image” widgets.
  8. Use the “Back to [your site]” button to return from the Control Panel to the public site.
  9. Look for the “Need help getting started?” menu for productive suggestions (not available in all themes).
  10. Look for the green “add” button to add new content.
  11. 10. Mouse over an area or item to see contextual menus that apply to it. In particular, look for the blue triangle (). Click on it to configure, edit, delete, or feature an item.

Support

Introduction for LSPs in SAS

What is OpenScholar?

  • OpenScholar is a web-based content management system designed to make it easy for academic professionals to create and maintain personal or project websites without any special software or technical skills.
  • It includes ready-made features useful for academic sites: publications, class pages, blogs, calendar, and photo galleries.
  • OpenScholar is a Drupal distribution (a specific configuration of Drupal), devised at Harvard. We have revised it for use in the School of Arts & Sciences. ISUS manages it.

This is a pilot project

  • OpenScholar is currently a pilot project. As of June 2012, we still consider our OpenScholar installation to be in Beta.
  • We’re not publicizing it yet, but feel free to offer it to clients who request a website.

Who can request an OpenScholar site?

  • Any SAS faculty member, graduate student, or professional staff member can request an OpenScholar site.

To request a site

A pesky permissions problem

  • Sometimes a new user with a new site does not have permission to add materials.
  • The symptom is the user does not see any green “add new” buttons.
  • Contact Christine Brisson or Kyle Small to fix the permissions problem.

Support

  • The next page of this document is designed for clients. You can give them a copy to introduce or orient them to OpenScholar.
  • Direct clients to the documentation linked in the lower right of the Control Panel, or at https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/help/vsitehelp/OpenScholar-Documentation
  • Direct clients to the handy tips at our support site: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar
  • To submit a Footprints ticket: prefix subject with “Open Scholar:” and assign ticket to “SASC Web” team.
  • You can contact the following people for front-end support: John MacDermott, Christine Brisson, Jay Treat, and Brian Kirk. ISUS provides back-end support.

Tips for Using OpenScholar

1. Current tips

The most recent form of our tips can be found on the OpenScholar support site: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar/ Many of the tips include a video demonstration.

2. Modifying the layout of a content area

You’ll find detailed instructions (with video) on our support site: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar/book/modifying-layout-content-area

3. Front page

By default, the front page of an OpenScholar site is a teaser to your bio page. You can use Control Panel > Site Building > Layout to add or substitute other items. You’ll find detailed instructions on our support site: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar/book/customizing-your-front-page

4. Embedding a YouTube video

You’ll find detailed instructions (with video) on our support site: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar/book/embedding-youtube-video

5. Adding other users to your site

Particularly in a project site, you may find it useful to add collaborators to your site. Here are instructions: https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/openscholar/book/add-users-your-site After you add members to your site, you can choose to make them an administrators. Administrators have access to your Control Panel.

6. Making your whole site private

If you wish, you can make your site private. A private site is available only to people who are listed as members in your site. Use Control Panel > Settings to set privacy settings. For example, you could make your site private while you’re developing it, and then make it public when you’re ready for the world to see it.

7. Making a feature private

If you wish, you can make parts of your site private. A private area is available only to people who are listed as members in your site. Go to Control Panel > Site Building > Features. Use a menu on the right of an item to make it Private. While it is private, only members of your site can see that feature. For example, you could make blogs or booklets private, so that you can hide these features from the public.

8. Hiding a single page

You can make any individual post in your site either published or unpublished. An unpublished page is not visible to the public. Making a page unpublished is a handy way to hide a page temporarily without deleting it.

Adding News Feeds and Twitter Feeds

OpenScholar makes it easy to provide news feeds. Here are instructions.

How to Add a News Feed

First, make sure you have enabled the feed reader. Go to Control Panel > Site Building > Features, and make the Feed Reader public.

When the feed reader feature is enabled, you can add a feed (an RSS or Atom feed).

A lot of websites offer RSS feeds, usually marked with RSS in orange letters or an icon (see at right).

Click on the link and copy the web address (URL) of the feed.

In OpenScholar, use "Add Feed". Paste the web address of the feed into the URL blank. Provide a useful title.

Twitter Feeds

The method I have previously recommended for adding a Twitter feed no longer works, because Twitter has changed their API and because OpenCanvas filters out scripts.

Combining Feeds

The widget, Latest Feed Items, allows you to combine the most recent items of any or all of your feeds.