Document Type


Publication Date



Picture this: I’m opening up an Excel spreadsheet. Contained within are the citations for faculty publications that have been held up from being added to our institutional repository (IR). The reason for the delay? All of them need to have permissions requested from a publisher before we can load a PDF. I’m new to the Scholarly Publishing Librarian position and curious about what this part of the workflow might look like.

And then I see that there are over 750 records-in-waiting.

My next thought was: how the heck am I going to keep track of what I do to clear these out? There are so many of them!

Thankfully, I found a way, and that way was building a lightweight database using Airtable. If you’re dealing with a complicated repository workflow, or do scholarly communications work, this post might be for you. I presented at AALL 2022 about using Airtable for project management, and I’d like to thank LIT-SIS for letting me share a summary here about this cool tool! Not doing IR work? That’s okay too; I believe if you have any workflow where a sequence of steps is relatively predictable but the timeline on which each step can be completed is not, you could build a similar project tracker.


This blog post was originally posted to the AALL Legal Innovation & Technology SIS Blog at and is based on a presentation and demonstration given for the AALL 2022 Conference in the Cool Tools session.