Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Repositories and CRIS / working smartly together - report from conference 19th July

I led the workshops on CRIS/repository advocacy. Do you advocate as separate systems or as one system? If the CRIS and Repository are integrated, do you need to brand the repository, is the focus on the CRIS or is a combination approach best?

The 2 groups all had different CRIS / repository models, some institutions had both and some were integrated/ some not. Other institutions had just a repository or just a CRIS so it was excellent to get a wide variety of views.

Key feedback :
  • the concept of the one stop shop so if staff are working in one system, be it the CRIS or repository, then advocacy was focused on the one system as the place to do all the necessary tasks.

  • that institutions can often put in artificial barriers between systems, often relating to the organizational unit that manages them and in terms of language and terminology

  • researchers don't care which system is doing what, they just need to know what they have to do

  • researchers want clarity with support so joint sessions, singe points of contact are key

  • repositories can provide real life statistics which can be used in advocacy sessions to promote the repository

  • the REF is a key driver for research strategy at many unis and is also having an effect on people's perception of the repository, on submission and Open Access. Some institutions reported that discussions were being had on what is good enough quality to be deposited into the repository and a suggestion that only REFable material should be submitted. Should the repository be for all research or just as a shop window for the highest rated research? Clearly this raises questions around the drivers for submission which may vary according to stakeholder group

  • In general, most of the institutions were giving their repository a brand and identity

I then weaved this feedback gained on the day into my presentation which provided a case study of how the questions were approached at Plymouth University.

My conclusion, which was backed up by the conference participants, is that researchers and senior university management want clarity and demonstrations of coherence and of support for individual and university goals.
The branding and advocacy strategy needs to be flexible and responsive to the audience and messages.
It is perhaps not a question of deciding a single focus on CRIS or the Repository or integration but a question of deciding when and how to apply a varying focus, depending on your audience/message.

Nicola Cockarill, Plymouth University

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