Tuesday, 29 July 2008

IncReASe Questionnaire Findings / Report

This week I'm working on the questionnaire report. This will provide a more detailed discussion of the results of the questionnaire. The findings document we've already produced has been well received so far. The results of the mandates questions have sparked some particular interest. This reflects the seemingly high positive response to the question of compliance. Hopefully the report will help illustrate this is not such a clear indication that mandates would work. The figures in the findings document include both those who would comply willingly and reluctantly. There is also some variation between the institutions. At one institution only 60% of respondents would comply willingly with an institutional mandate. This suggests the introduction of a mandate there would be unpopular with a considerable number of academics.

Also this week, we are meeting to discuss the progress of our interviews with academics. We have carried out about 5 so far and need to think about who else we want to target. We will look at whether the current interview schedule is working, and how the interview data might be used to create some case studies.

Anyway, back to the report writing!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

IncReASe Project Questionnaire Findings

Back in February / March this year we carried out an online questionnaire across the 3 White Rose institutions. We were interested in what people currently did with their publications and whether they put them up online. We also asked about awareness of WRRO, funder and institutional mandates and what services WRRO should be offering.

We offered a prize of £50 voucher or an iPod Shuffle. Here's a picture of Dr Tom Webb, the lucky winner, receiving his voucher.

We have produced a findings document which has just been sent out to those who responded to the questionnaire. Over the next couple of months we will be producing a report aimed at the repositories community.

Harvard Arts and Sciences Faculty recognized as newest SPARC Innovators

SPARC is the Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition. Twice a year, SPARC names an "Innovator" - an individual or group - which has been "..working to challenge the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public." The latest SPARC innovator is the Harvard Arts and Sciences Faculty. There has been widespread coverage of the Faculty's decision to make research outputs openly available (a similar policy has also been adopted by Harvard's Law Faculty).

The Harvard researchers want to assert more control over the dissemination of their work and ensure wider access to their research than is the case for papers locked behind solely subscription-based access.

Some extracts from the agreed motion:
"..The Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University is committed to disseminating the
fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment,
the Faculty adopts the following policy: Each Faculty member grants to the President and
Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to
exercise the copyright in those articles...
"To assist the University in distributing the articles, each Faculty member will provide an
electronic copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative
of the Provost’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Provost’s
Office. The Provost’s Office may make the article available to the public in an open-access

The full agreement is online at http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~secfas/February_2008_Agenda.pdf

The research is deposited in Harvard's open access repository. The equivalent system for Leeds, Sheffield and York is White Rose Research Online.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Repository Support Project Summer School 2008

I’ve just got back from the RSP summer school held at Thornton Manor in the Wirral. Well, nearly 10 days ago now I suppose. It was a very interesting couple of days, not least because of the fabulous venue and great food! In fact there must have been almost as much talk about food and Lord Leverhulme’s old house as there was about repositories.

RSP held a summer school last year that was aimed at new repositories and those just in the process of setting up. This year’s was for those with already existing repositories. A good range of topics were covered in the sessions including interoperability, copyright, advocacy, preservation and statistics.

A number of the break out sessions were extremely useful as they offered the chance to discuss the issues directly with other people doing the same / similar job. I know it’s been said many times before but it is fascinating how different institutions staff their repositories. There is such a variation in the number of staff employed, the amount of their time dedicated to the repository and also the other demands repository staff have on their time.

Perhaps one of the most interesting sessions for me was Niamh Brennan’s paper on advocacy. Niamh works on the repository at Trinity College Dublin and there they have integrated the repository with their Current Research Information System (CRIS). Academics must upload details of their publications into the CRIS, and they are now offered a button to add full text. Take up seems to have been very high, and now the repository has a lot of content to deal with. Much of the work around repositories has been about raising their profile and advocacy work. Perhaps the key is actually to make repositories invisible!