Penn Launches Work and Family Commons Open Access Research Repository

PHILADELPHIA -- The Work and Family Researchers Network at the University of Pennsylvania has launched the Work and Family Commons, the first open access work and family subject matter repository. The WFC was created to gather and preserve the intellectual output of the work and family research community and to offer free online access to the full text of research articles to the public.

We are very excited about the launch of the Work and Family Commons,” Jerry Jacobs, Penn sociology professor and Network executive officer, said.  It is a novel undertaking. We have received strong support from Penn Libraries Information Technology and Digital Development Director Michael Winkler and his staff.  The plan is to use cutting edge technology to create a virtual community for researchers. We are already starting out with a database of over 12,000 entries.” 

Jacobs said that the WFC contains more than 11,000 citations from the former Sloan Network Literature Database at Penn as well as the Sloan Network Encyclopedia Entries.  He called WFC a community-driven repository that represents a natural progression of the former Sloan Network at Penn by using contemporary technology to increase access and visibility of work and family scholarship via major Internet search engines.

The success and vitality of WFC will depend on the willingness of work and family scholars to share their knowledge by contributing their work.  Materials are submitted directly by authors with a free Network account.  Scholars are encouraged to add working papers, reports, conference presentations, books and permissible versions of journal articles to the WFC.  Browsing and searching the WFC is available at no cost.

One-hour virtual tutorials on how to use and deposit to the WFC will be held in February and March and be available upon request by email to with “Tutorial” in the subject header.  Additional tutorials will be held in the future.

The Work and Family Researchers Network is the premier peer community for multidisciplinary work and family scholars seeking to share their work and to meet each other both on and offline.  The Network’s inaugural conference, “Interdisciplinary Perspective on Work and Family,” will be held in June with 700 presenters, including 150 international scholars from more than 30 countries. Information about the conference is available at