Friday, November 19, 2010

The Why of the "Whys"

At the heart of the RePosit re-usable advocacy materials is a core list of reasons why connecting your Research Management System to your Digital Repository is a Good Thing. Why you should care. Why it is good for you. Why it is good for your institution. This list of "Whys" contains the following arguments, in no particular order:

  1. Library budgets are shrinking
  2. It will raise your research profile
  3. It gives you the potential for increased citations
  4. It increases the discoverability/visibility of your research
  5. It's quick and easy to use
  6. It will allow you to improve the business decisions of your institution through business intelligence
  7. It's a single point of entry to all research management needs
  8. It can provide research statistics and analysis
  9. It improves the reusability of your content
  10. It's in the public interest
  11. It supports research into teaching
  12. It enhances your ability to return to the REF
  13. It improves the student experience of the institution
  14. It provides full-text content storage
  15. It can help inform institutional strategy
  16. It can help inform competitive parity analysis
  17. It can enhance your institution's overall profile
  18. It can help manage institutional assets
  19. It can help you meet funder deposit mandates
  20. It improves the discoverability of your research via search engine
  21. It increases your ability to comply with copyright requirements
It is worth noting that the emphasis of RePosit is not on the repository or the RMS but on the link between them. Some of these "Whys" are more weighted towards one side or the other, as you would expect. We have attempted, when developing arguments behind each of these points, to balance the emphasis between these two systems appropriately, in order to try to draw out what is relevant to the integration itself.

Each of the different "Whys" on this list is relevant more to one group of people than another. For example, that it provides an opportunity to generate a more complete picture of an institution's research output is far more relevant to senior staff than it is to academic researchers, while the fact that it is integrated with SHERPA RoMEO is something which appeals mostly to librarians. We therefore identified three groups of people to whom we would be pitching the idea:

  • Academic authors
  • Librarians
  • Senior management
Then we took each of the "Whys", and we constructed more substantive arguments underneath the short descriptions above, and we looked at which reasons were closely related together (e.g. business intelligence and institutional strategy). It is from this matrix, then, that we will construct the advocacy materials which will be one of the re-usable outputs of the RePosit project.

In future posts we will discuss the User Stories that emerge from the above matrix, as well as the advocacy material wireframes which tell those user stories, and the slide-deck that can be used to present those stories to our target groups.

- Richard Jones, Symplectic Ltd

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