Open Repository

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University of Derby case study

Richard Finch, Academic Library Services Manager

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1. What led your organization to set up a repository?

Over many years the Library has seen the provision of an institutional repository for research outputs as a key development. In-house experiments with DSpace began in 2006. Financial constraints and the need to secure support from the University’s research community meant that it was not until 2009 that the repository was included within the then Learning & Information Services departmental strategic plan.


The growth in the range and scale of university research, the awareness of developments in other institutions, and appreciation of the benefits of an open access repository to raise awareness of the University’s research outputs all helped to build the case for moving forward.


2. What attracted you to a hosted repository solution rather than running a repository in-house?

The University did not have the technical staff capacity to set up and maintain an in-house repository.


3. What specific benefits attracted you to Open Repository?

Open Repository offered an affordable solution with a flexible structure that met the University’s needs. It was re-assuring to know that the customer base included other UK Higher Education Institutions with comparable research profiles.

4. Which departments and/or individuals have been involved in setting up and running your repository?

The project has been run by the Library’s E-Resources team reporting through the Academic Services Manager to the University’s Research Committee. The Head of Research advised on a pilot group of four research teams to work with initially to promote the deposit of research papers.


At the same time, the library team has worked with the University’s Research Office on processes for the deposit of PhD theses and the retrospective digitisation of theses requested through Ethos.


5. How easy has it proved to be to populate your repository with content?

Researchers and research managers have been enthusiastic and supportive in general. It is taking time to engage individuals with deposit processes. The intention is for researchers to deposit themselves with checking done by the library team.


We are currently working closely with research teams to go through deposit processes in order to get authors engaged and depositing their work.


6. How has your repository helped you organization?

It is recognised by the University that the repository will both enable compliance with funders;’ requirements and provide a showcase for the University’s research (particularly important as the institution is not generally identified with research).


7. How has your repository been received?

We are at an early stage. Feedback so far is enthusiastic and positive, and the benefits understood.


8. How does your repository fit with your organization’s open access initiative?

We expect that the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and the Research Committee will mandate the deposit of university supported research outputs in UDORA (University of Derby Online Research Archive).


9. How do you see your repository developing in future?

The current focus is on promoting the retrospective deposit of past research papers and PhD theses. Future plans envisage research teams developing their own presence on UDORA and possibly extending the scope for deposit to Masters level theses.


10. Please add any additional comments you have about Open Repository and our service.

Support for setting up UDORA has been exemplary, in particular the rapid response to technical queries and “bug fixing”.

1.What led your organization to set up a repository?
In April 2005, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) started a repository project which led to the launch of its repository of research publications, e-space in October 2006. This project was led by Library Services as a natural extension of its role of managing information and assisting scholarly communication and followed a paper submitted to the Vice Chancellor in July 2005. This paper concluded:
“The development of the Open Archives Initiative and the creation of the OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) has inspired people to explore the ways in which they can improve scholarly communication and the dissemination of material through the establishment of institutional repositories… MMU will take advantage of and build upon these developments with the creation of its own institutional repository. In doing so MMU will be joining an expanding and exciting community of institutions who, through their institutional repositories, are indicating their commitment to the demonstration and sharing of their societal, scholarly and economic activities, in order to benefit themselves and the wider research and learning community.

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