Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 13, 2007

Universal OA repository for UK researchers

Put research publications 'in the Depot', a press release from JISC, April 13, 2007.  Excerpt:

Put it in the Depot... That is the simple message to be promoted as part of the JISC Repositories and Preservation programme in support of deposit of research publications under terms of Open Access.

The general strategy being adopted in the UK is that every university should develop and establish its own institutional repository (IR), as part of a comprehensive ‘JISC RepositoryNet’. Many researchers can already make use of the IRs set up in their institution, but that is not (yet) the case for all. A key purpose for The Depot is to bridge that gap during the period before all have such provision, and to provide a deposit facility that will enable all UK researchers to expose their publications to readers under terms of Open Access.

The Depot will also have a re-direct function to link researchers to the appropriate home pages of their own institutional repositories. The end result should be more content in repositories, making it easier for researchers and policy makers to have peer-reviewed research results exposed to wider readership under Open Access.

The Depot is an outcome from a scoping study called ‘Prospero’ carried out during 2006 when EDINA and SHERPA (University of Nottingham) were asked to work together. The report from that study is listed on the EDINA web site, in the past projects archive....

The principal focus for The Depot is the deposit of post-prints, digital versions of published journal articles and similar items. There are plans to include links to places for depositing other digital materials, such as research datasets and learning materials. As indicated, The Depot helps provide a level-playing field for all UK researchers and their institutions, especially when deposit under Open Access is required by grant funding bodies. It may also become a useful facility for institutions as they implement and manage their own repositories, helping to promote the habit of deposit among staff, with the simple message, ‘put it in the depot’.

The Depot is based on E-Prints software and is compliant with the Open Archive Initiative (OAI), which promotes standards for repository interoperability. Its contents will be harvested and searched through the Intute Repository Search project. It offers a redirect service, UK Repository Junction, to ensure that content that comes within the remit of an extant repository is correctly placed there instead of in The Depot.

Additionally, as IRs are created, The Depot will offer a transfer service for content deposited by authors based at those universities, to help populate the new IRs. The Depot will therefore act as a ‘keepsafe’ until a repository of choice becomes available for deposited scholarly content. In this way, The Depot will avoid competing with extant and emerging IRs while bridging gaps in the overall repository landscape and encouraging more open access deposits....

Also see the Depot FAQ.

Comment.  This is important.  UK funding agencies inclined to mandate OA to the research they fund may now mandate deposit in the author's institutional repository.  UK authors without local repositories now have deposit rights at the Depot.  Moreover, UK researchers who have not been self-archiving now have one less excuse.