Monday, August 16, 2010

Literature review - the Embed Project

The Embed project, investigated cultural barriers in two Universities which inhibited academic engagement with their repositories. The project then looked at possible solutions to these barriers, with the aim to increase submissions and enhance the service by ‘embedding’ into the research process.

The project started with a user requirement study, which identified key aims:

  • Improve Awareness raising/advocacy strategies
  • Understand the publication processes which affect willingness to submit
  • Investigate system requirements for an effective submission process

Each University took a different approach: Cranfield University relaunched and rebranded their repository and aligned it closely with the research agenda (e.g. REF, impact of research). At Robert Gordon University (RGU) they used a targeted approach, with ‘champions’ in key positions throughout the University.

Outcomes: Increase in submission rates, Greater variety of material submitted, Evidence of raised awareness and consequent cultural change

At Cranfield their repository became part of the research management and dissemination process, rather than a library activity. At RGU they saw a greater understanding of repositories, particularly in terms of publicity opportunities. The profile of their repository was raised, by involving University Committee’s e.g. Research Committee

Lessons learned about awareness raising:

  • Needs to be targeted at all Stakeholders e.g. administrator, researcher, manager
  • One off advocacy is not enough, requires sustained and repeated
  • Do not assume researchers understand repositories value or benefits, these need repeating!

Conclusion: Repository growth likely to be accelerated if have an integrated submission system and sustained advocacy campaign properly aligned with institutions research strategy

Other useful conclusions from the project report:

  • The requirement for a single submission system where one deposit uploads to multiple external dissemination outlets including IRs, subject repositories, personal and departmental web pages.
  • Repositories needs to be repositioned within a fully integrated Current Research Information System (CRIS)
  • The system must be capable of collecting deposits at an early stage in the publication process, the optimum time appears to be when an item is accepted for publication.
  • The need for more training and advocacy to ensure that researchers retain final pre-publication versions of their work where appropriate.

Embed Wiki Includes marketing and dissemination e.g. ‘raise your research profile’ ‘show your true colours’

Posted by Ellie James (Keele University)

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