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Aoife Lawton, Systems Librarian
We found that the there was a distinct three-fold business need for our organization to have a repository:
The main reason that HSE chose to opt for a hosted solution was to minimize the time that would need to be spent on maintenance and set-up if we were running a in-house solution. This, coupled with the cost benefits that are involved in an outsourced repository solution, meant that an “out of the box” solution made more sense for HSE to an in-house customized solution, as it was “ready to go”.
A focus group was run, consisting of a number of health professionals who all agreed that Open Repository was the most user-friendly service, specifically noting that it had very good customization options whilst maintaining a clean & simple interface. This feedback plus the swift set up time and the fact that it is entirely web based meaning that software does not have to be locally installed, meant that Open Repository was the obvious choice for our organization.
The library initiated the project by firstly calling for researches to participate in a focus group in order to assess the needs of the organization. Following this the library department set up the repository and customized the interface based on feedback from library users.
The repository is managed by the systems librarian and a project team of library staff at the Regional Library at the HSE headquarters.
Given that the library already had a repository in place with existing content it was easy to populate the Open Repository, as over 4000 records could be easily migrated.
Some departments and users add content directly to the repository – specifically the public health departments in different locations across the country. HSE librarians from other regions also add content directly.
A press release was issued and the repository was featured on the main page of the HSE Intranet site which increased awareness amongst HSE staff of its existence & usefulness to them.
Our repository has helped our organization by empowering end users to submit their research and / or publications easily, directly and in real time into a web-based system from their desktop. No cataloging or advanced IT skills are required to upload such files and make them available to a much wider audience. This is hugely beneficial to our staff.
We haven’t had an opportunity or time yet to “showcase our organization’s intellectual output” but Open Repository is the perfect platform to do this. In the future more time will be allotted to “marketing” the repository in the national and international arena.
Feedback to date on the repository has been extremely positive. The library has even received ideas specifically in relation to the researcher pages and how these can be used in ways we had not thought of. For example pages for departments rather than for individuals is something we are currently investigating. It is hard to judge exactly how the repository is being used as it is open access, however it is clear from the feedback received that staff and librarians looking for Irish health publications do use LENUS [the HSE repository] as a port of call.
There is no specific open access initiative documented by our organization as yet. However this may come to the fore in the future and it is something that the library service will be advocating.
With rapid changes in technology I would envisage the repository becoming more interactive in the future. Repositories are the future for any organization wishing to capture, preserve and make available their organization’s intellectual output.
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