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Institutional repositories: laying foundations for a new era of scholarly communication: a practical view from the Southampton University research repository

Hey, Jessie M.N. (2004) Institutional repositories: laying foundations for a new era of scholarly communication: a practical view from the Southampton University research repository At Online Information 2004. 30 Nov - 02 Dec 2004.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


Institutional repositories are being proposed as a complementary development to discipline based archives of digital research publications. The pioneering ‘arXiv’ in Physics and related disciplines has revolutionised scholarly communication in its areas of specialty. Institutional digital archives could provide a platform for other researchers to display their work more constructively. Open archive initiative standards have been established to enable repositories to be harvested and searched jointly. Indeed, some commercial publishers have also taken note and made their collections compliant. National and global search engines are developing to maximise their usage. Within this progressive climate, academic institutions around the world are beginning to explore the concept of institutional repositories, in earnest, to leverage their own research.

However, different models are emerging depending on the local culture. In the UK the Research Assessment Exercise focuses attention on research recording but institutional repositories could perhaps provide a more powerful platform for proactive research recording and usage. They have the potential to improve research collaboration and visibility for individual researchers when toll-access journals restrict access even to their own authors. The framework of the UK’s academic information environment provides the foundation for initiatives currently under way in many research led institutions - many kick started by the JISC FAIR programme.

We look at key factors in the early practical experience of one university in working to achieve the vision of open scholarly communication. The School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton created the pioneering GNU EPrints software to simplify publication database set up around the world in diverse environments. The TARDis project provided the opportunity to sample the current publication behaviour and viewpoints within different disciplines at the University of Southampton itself, particularly as made visible by their faculty web sites. This emphasised that an institutional research repository would not simply be a standalone initiative starting from zero. It was not only a case of encouraging the deposit of full text when a research publication was completed with a targeted advocacy campaign but of recognising the interaction with current practices. Utilising the software platform and ensuing scaled up database most effectively would need to involve strong collaboration with its time-pressed depositors and focussing on fulfilling their specific perceived needs. This work has been endorsed by the recent commitment of the institution. Emerging issues identified as common to many institutional repositories will also be addressed by shared services such those being investigated in the PRESERV project. The combined result could be laying firmer foundations in order to achieve a step change in scholarly communication.

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Published date: 2004
Additional Information: This presentation updates and broadens the paper Hey, Jessie M.N. (2004) Targeting Academic Research: Southampton's Institutional Repository. In, Lewis, Jonathan (ed.) Proceedings of Online Information 2004, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2004., Learned Information Europe Ltd, 127-136.
Venue - Dates: Online Information 2004, 2004-11-30 - 2004-12-02
Keywords: institutional research repositories, open access, University of Southampton, TARDis, scholarly communication


Local EPrints ID: 13599
PURE UUID: bab24310-58a4-4dac-b46c-f258d7c71dc5

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Date deposited: 15 Dec 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:01

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