The University of Exeter has had a publications repository, ERIC (http://eric.exeter.ac.uk/exeter/), since 2007 but in common with many UK repositories after an initial surge of deposits tied in with advocacy submissions have dwindled save for a few loyal enthusiasts. The RePosit advocacy work is therefore a timely opportunity to re-think approaches to boosting repository content and engaging a range of stakeholders.
The UoE Advocacy Plan timetable is fairly detailed – we want the option of reaching as wide an audience as possible and in as many ways as possible. Some of the activities can be achieved quickly, for example, we have already included repository training in a new Deskside Training Service for academics and research postgraduates (we had our first taker last week!).
Others require long-term planning, such as including repository training in the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Programme that all Postgraduate research students who teach are required to complete. Targeting new Postgraduates and early career researchers is high on our agenda – making sure that Symplectic/repository use is embedded in their research lifecycles and passed on in turn to their students.
We will try to use social media as much as possible - it’s cheap, easy, and has the potential to reach a range of people quickly. The aim is to adapt our message and method of delivery according to the audience we’re addressing: for a senior management group, we will take a more formal approach and perhaps focus our talk on economic benefits; for a group of librarians we might emphasise access and preservation. We’ll be using the generic advocacy materials produced during the RePosit project, tailoring them for our own particular needs.
We envisage the advocacy work kicked off by RePosit continuing far beyond the life of the project and forming a blueprint for an ongoing programme of promotional work.
Posted by: Jill Evans