Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Australia's evolving vision for OA repositories

Andrew Treloar and David Groenewegen, ARROW, DART and ARCHER: A Quiver Full of Research Repository and Related Projects, Ariadne, April 2007.  Excerpt:

This paper describes three inter-related repository projects. These projects were all funded by the Australian Commonwealth Government through the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative as part of the Commonwealth Government's Backing Australia's Ability - An Innovation Action Plan for the Future. The article will describe the background to all three projects and the way in which their development has been inter-related and co-ordinated. The article will conclude by examining how Monash University (the lead institution in all three projects) is re-conceiving the relationship between its different repositories....

ARROW was initially envisaged as a total solution for the storage and access of digital materials. Work on the project demonstrated that it was too ambitious a project, and that building the tools necessary into a single space was unlikely to be realistic. The DART Project gave us the beginnings of an understanding of the type of tools that would be needed in the collaborative space we originally envisaged. As ARCHER progresses the linkages between it and ARROW will become stronger. Between them we envisage a 'curation boundary' - a software-based workflow that will use human intervention to decide what moves from the collaborative space that ARCHER represents, into the 'publishing' section that ARROW provides....

The original ARROW bid envisaged a single underlying repository that would underpin all the research outputs of a university. The process of moving from ARROW to DART and now ARCHER has suggested an alternative model. This is based on two different kinds of repository: one optimised for collaboration and one for publication. As both ARROW and ARCHER move out of the project phase and into production, these ideas will be further developed, enabling a more mature assessment of the value of this approach. Until then, it is safe to conclude that ARROW is clearly a success in its own terms, DART has made significant advances and ARCHER is showing early promise.