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Open access publishing and institutional repositories: an overview. Lucy A. Tedd Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University, Wales Editor: Program: Electronic library and information systems February 2009. What is open access (OA)?.

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open access publishing and institutional repositories an overview

Open access publishing and institutional repositories: an overview

Lucy A. Tedd

Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University, Wales

Editor: Program: Electronic library and information systems

February 2009

what is open access oa
What is open access (OA)?

Many definitions – a report from the Joint Information Systems Committee in the UK of 2006 stated:

“The World Wide Web has provided the means for researchers to make their research results available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This applies to journal articles regardless of whether or not their library has a subscription to the journal in which the articles were published as well as to other types of research output such as conference papers, theses or research reports. This is known as Open Access.” (

the open access movement
The Open Access movement

1991 Subject-based repository of pre-prints in physics (arXiv),now 500,000+ entries at Cornell (

1995 Stevan Harnad subversive proposal “in an ideal world of scholarly communication, all research should be freely available”


2001 Budapest Open Access Initiative

2003 Berlin declaration on open access to knowledge in science and humanities

budapest open access initiative
Budapest Open Access Initiative

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.

open society institute s information program
Open Society Institute’s Information Program
  • the development of business models and plans for self-archiving and open access publishing;
  • the use of library networks to mobilise support for open access;
  • support for authors in low and middle income countries to publish in open access journals;
  • the development of software tools and templates for open access publishing, self-archiving , indexing and navigation;
  • the promotion of the open access philosophy.


gold and green oa publishing
Gold and Green OA publishing

Gold OA - uses a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access e.g. Ariadne, D-Lib Magazine and First Monday

Green OA - authors publish papers in one of the 25,000 or so refereed journals in all disciplines and then self-archive these papers in open access repositories.

scholarly publishing and oa
Scholarly publishing and OA

One conclusion of Oppenheim’s 2008 review:

“Libraries will increasingly switch to OA sources, leading to libraries gaining a more prominent role in scholarly publishing with activity in both the preservation and distribution of scholarly research. Libraries will need to move from being passive to active players in the scholarly communication chain.”

Oppenheim, Charles, Electronic scholarly publishing and open access. Journal of Information Science, 2008, 34(4), p.577-590.

what is an institutional digital repository
What is an institutional/digital repository?

Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information,


“In my view, a university-based institutional repository is a set of

services that a university offers to the members of

its community for the management and dissemination of digital

materials created by the institution and its community members. It is

most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of

these digital materials, including long-term preservation where

appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.”

ARL: A Bimonthly Report, no. 226 (February 2003)

Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age

how does an ir differ from other digital collections
How does an IR differ from other digital collections?
  • Content is deposited in a repository – by content creator, owner etc.
  • Repository architecture manages the content and the metadata
  • Repository software offers a minimum set of basic services – put, get, search
  • Repository must be sustainable, trusted, well-supported and well-managed
    • Heery, R. and Anderson S. (2005) Digital Repositories Review. UKOLN and AHDS. Available at:
what might be in an ir
What might be in an IR?
  • Pre-prints of papers
  • Post-prints of papers
  • Doctoral theses
  • Masters dissertations
  • Research reports
  • Book chapters
  • Conference papers
  • Teaching materials
  • Databanks of ‘raw’ data
  • Multimedia objects
  • ++
why are institutional repositories popular now
Why are institutional repositories popular now?
  • Universities/institutions realising that they are businesses and research income depends on ‘outputs’
  • Mandates e.g. from research funding bodies, universities
  • Open access movement and need to provide free access to publicly funded research
  • Technology maturing
    • Open source software (DSpace, Eprints, Fedora)
    • Commercial software (ExLibris Digitool, VTLS-Vital etc)
  • ++
open doar directory of open access repositories
OpenDOAR – Directory of Open Access Repositories
  • The OpenDOAR service provides a quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world. OpenDOAR staff harvest and assign metadata to allow categorisation and analysis to assist the wider use and exploitation of repositories. Each of the repositories has been visited by OpenDOAR staff to ensure a high degree of quality and consistency in the information provided: OpenDOAR is maintained by SHERPA consortium staff at the University of Nottingham, UK
institutional repository at aberystwyth cadair
Institutional repository at Aberystwyth - CADAIR

DSpace software

1780 items (Feb. 2009)

Journal articles / e-theses / presentations

Recruitment of a repository manager in 2008

Advocacy of concept with the university

Mediated deposit

ir at national institute of oceanography india
IR at National Institute of Oceanography, India
  • DRS- Digital Repository Service
  • 2571 items (Feb. 2009)
  • Aims to “collect, preserve and disseminate different institutional publications (journal articles, conference proceeding articles, Technical reports, thesis, dissertations, etc)”.
roar registry of open access repositories
ROAR- Registry of Open Access Repositories

Aims to monitor overall growth in the number of eprint archives and to maintain a list of GNU EPrints sites

Available from Southampton University, UK

Data gathered automatically via OAI-PMH

ROAR also keeps track of the archiving policies of institutions.

31 universities/departments (including Southampton,

Glasgow and Stirling in the UK, Harvard and Stanford in the US, and

the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela in India and

Bharathidasan University) had adopted author mandates

34 research funding bodies (including all the UK Research Councils, the European Research Council and the US National Institutes of Health) that now operate similar mandates

other overviews of irs
Other ‘overviews’ of IRs

Repository66 – a mash-up by Stuart Lewis of Aberystwyth based on OpenDOAR and ROAR (

World ranking of institutional repositories

( )

support for the development of irs in the uk
Support for the development of IRs in the UK

JISC has provided much funding in this area.

2002-5 Focus on Access to Institutional Repositories - Theses Alive! Electronic Theses, ROMEO (Rights Metadata for Open Archiving) SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access)

2005-7 Digital Repositories Programme - 20 specific projects e.g.openDOAR, EThoS, Repository Bridge

2006-9 Repository and Preservation Programme -supporting digital repositories and preservation, including cross-searching facilities across repositories; funding for institutions to develop a critical mass of content, preservation solutions and advice for the development of repositories” many separate projects (

repository support project rsp
Repository Support Project (RSP)

Consortium from SHERPA (Nottingham), ePints Team (Southampton), Bath(UKOLN) and Aberystwyth

2007-end March 2009

Funded by JISC - £1.4m

Aim “co-ordinate and deliver good practice and practical advice to English and Welsh higher education institutions to enable the implementation, management and development of digital institutional repositories”).

welsh repository network wrn
Welsh Repository Network (WRN)
  • 2007-end March 2009
  • Funded by JISC
  • Run from Aberystwyth University on behalf of Welsh Higher Education Libraries Forum
  • aims to put in place “an essential building block for the development of an integrated network of institutional digital repositories in one region of the UK – the country of Wales”
  • 12 institutions – most use DSpace, one ePrints and one Digital Commons.
academic staff and irs some personal experiences
Academic staff and IRs : some personal experiences

2004 – I attended a presentation at the National Library of Wales on some JISC FAIR projects

2006 – early supporter of CADAIR when it was being piloted as part of JISC-funded Repository Bridge project

2007-date – attempts to encourage academic colleagues to deposit materials in CADAIR – not always easy!

advantages for academics in using irs from rsp
Advantages for academics in using IRs (from RSP)
  • Increased visibility of research output and consequently the department and the institution
  • Potentially increased impact of the research
  • Help in managing and storing digital content connected with the research, including the underlying research data
  • Help in managing the likely requirements of funding bodies for publications to be made available in a repository.
  • Provides the possibility to standardise institutional records
  • Allows the creation of personalised publications lists
  • Offers usage metrics to determine hit rates on specific papers.
cadair repository manager
CADAIR repository manager

Some of the challenges

  • Cultural – move from paper to webpage
  • Institutional – raising awareness at high level. Implementation of mandate for deposit of research theses and taught masters theses gaining a distinction
  • Departmental – assistance in depositing metadata for Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) materials. Talks to encourage staff to deposit
  • Individual – assistance in gaining permissions etc.
final word from oppenheim
Final word from Oppenheim

“ We can expect funders to continue to move towards requiring OA outputs from the recipients of their funding, and institutions to move steadily towards mandating OA. It will be an interesting time.”

Oppenheim, Charles, Electronic scholarly publishing and open access. Journal of Information Science, 2008, 34(4), p.577-590