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!