Tuesday, February 15, 2011

RSP winter school

The RSP winter school took place 9-11th February in the Lake District and was my first Repository Support Project event. I wanted to use the opportunity, as a new repository manager, to immerse myself in the repository world, meet other repository colleagues and to inform my work both here at the University of Plymouth and for RePosit.

Some of the main points I took away to reflect on:
  • the variety of models eg commercial / in house, CRIS, no CRIS, standalone or connected repository. From one point of view, this means that there are less HEIs, then I thought, to share experience with but on the other hand, it also means that interest should be generated around the RePosit model and others can share and use the project partner's experiences.
  • the concept of a shared CRIS, feeding to multiple repositories is another more unusual feature of the UoP setup and again other HEIs may wish to share our experiences
  • discussions around the CRIS-repository model changing the concept of the IR (institutional repository) as an entity in itself and what you are promoting and whether that represents a challenge or an opportunity for repository managers. My personal view is that here at UoP, I will be promoting both the CRIS and the IR both in different ways to different stakeholder groups.
I liked the concept of the 3 components of deposit, use and advocacy:
  1. Deposit - seamless deposit via the CRIS.
  2. Access/preserve/report/feed - Senior management and research administrators - CRIS and IR
  3. Discover - via the CRIS via the university's staff profile pages and the IR via search engines
So both the CRIS and IR will be promoted, just in different ways depending on the stakeholder and their interests. I feel, the RePosit model doesn't relegate the IR as an entity, the advocacy programme will communicate the benefits/uses of both the CRIS and the IR but in a targeted way and both will have a strong identity.

  • Discussions around self deposit and mediation. UoP is launching with a self deposit model. Most of the HEIs appeared to using a mediated module. For RePosit, this means that the role of research administrators needs to be considered in the survey and advocacy materials
  • advocacy themes - a key message was that advocacy needs to be sustained and repeated.
The message about "the researchers want to know what they can get out of deposit" resonated with me, and this echoed what the pilot presentations at Leeds fedback. Personally I feel that maybe the message of pure Open Access may resonate with some committed individuals but I feel that at UoP, I will be starting by advocating OA but badging it more as Open Access Lite so focusing on what depositing means for individuals and access to collaborators, peers and practitioners. This is promoting OA but in a context that researchers respond to. In time, as the IR matures, the message will develop, especially with further developments in OA. I believe that OA Lite is the most effective way to reach researchers to launch deposit whilst starting discussions which look at the full range of the OA concept with senior managers.

The event was very informative and enjoyable and I have returned with lots of contacts, ideas and most importantly, it has confirmed and underpinned the directions that I will take in the advocacy here at Plymouth.

Nicola Cockarill, Senior Subject Librarian, University of Plymouth

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