Making research accessible: repositories, open access and the issue of usage

Added by Sarah on 17 February 2009 17:54

We were delighted to be invited to Scotland?s first conference on the Open access research repository - what’s in it for you? on 13 February at the University of Stirling.

The event turned out to be very worthwhile, raising a great deal of discussion from delegates, as well as an opportunity for us to talk to those grappling with the issue of repositories and their usage in Scotland.

The speakers covered why digital repositories are important for Scottish universities, why it’s important to populate repositories and what the challenges are, the legal perspective on open access publishing and bibliometrics and research assessment. Some lively workshops discussed what the challenges and solutions might be to setting up repositories and the group I was in definitely benefited from delegates being from a range of backgrounds (from museums as well as universities).

I think one issue might be the word ‘repository’ not being particularly attractive to researchers. The Netherlands seemed to cleverly get round this by calling their repository the Cream of Science which was originally set up by asking some of the top researchers to contribute and thereby encouraging others to follow suit. The University of Glasgow have also imaginatively called their repository Enlighten, which certainly sounds much more appealing to me.

It was also nice to hear our Researchers’ use of academic libraries and their services (April 2007) report quoted by the opening speaker Christine Hallett (Principle and Vice Chancellor of the University of Stirling) its good to know our work is having an impact.

Due to having to run for the last train back to London, unfortunately I missed the end of Shelia Cannell’s (Director of Library Services, University of Edinburgh) presentation but reading her PowerPoint, I think she hits on some key points that need to be raised when thinking about how you get buy-in from researchers and how to get them to use the repository: she says you need to think like a researcher to ensure the services fit with their workflow and provide services that will add value to the research process (and make it easy), by making it easy to deposit, creating personal bibliographies and offering copyright advice.

The Repositories Support Project, in association with the RIN will be holding a free event to look at how, and if, researchers are putting their work in repositories, planned to take place on Friday 29 May 2009 at RIBA in London. If you?d like to find out more about the event, just email me and I’ll let you have more information as soon as its available.

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