Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, November 03, 2006

Review of OpenDOAR repositories policies tool

Steve Hitchcock, OpenDOAR repository policies tool, Eprints Insiders, November 3, 2006.  Excerpt:

Writing a repository policy is hard, but some help is at hand with the OpenDOAR policies tool....OpenDOAR examines policies presented as OAI-harvestable eprints.xsd definitions statements by the sites it assesses for inclusion in its repository directory. It found that over two-thirds of sites have no harvestable or defined policy (Millington slide presentation). It may be less than that. In a small recent survey of repository preservation policy, which ought to be a consequential subset of wider policy, the Preserv project found that effectively none had a policy in this area (Hitchcock slide presentation).

OpenDOAR concludes that the eprints.xsd is not working and should be updated or replaced. In fact, eprints.xsd doesn't cover preservation policy at all.

To improve matters OpenDOAR's policy tool allows administrators to produce policy by filling in a series of forms, covering policies for Metadata, Data, Content, Submission and Preservation.

On the front page of the tool users can add the repository name, URL or OAI Base URL to get the tool to retrieve current repository policy (although this didn't appear to work for repositories known to me), if there is one, or leave it blank if you just want to start exploring the tool....

How successful this tool is in raising the number of repositories with policy above the one-third level remains to be seen, but OpenDOAR could hardly have done more with this excellently conceived, practical and (nearly) comprehensive tool. Repositories have no excuse not to try it.