Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Organizing institutional support for an IR

Fereshteh Afshari and Richard Jones, Developing an integrated institutional repository at Imperial College London, Program: electronic library and information systems,  41, 4 (2007) pp. 338-352.  Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:

Purpose – This paper aims to demonstrate how a highly integrated approach to repository development and deployment can be beneficial in producing a successful archive.

Design/methodology/approach – Imperial College London undertook a significant specifications process to gather and formalise requirements for its repository system. This was done through an initial proposal stage, and then the engagement of groups of College members with interest in the project to elucidate the requirements and allow the specification of a system that would be of genuine benefit. Then, using well understood technology for distributed systems, such as web services, and a well understood repository platform (DSpace), it was possible to undertake that work inside a structured project.

Findings – Demonstrates the advantages of producing integrated systems, especially with regard to lowering adoption barriers through easing academics' deposit workflows, introducing strong administrative tools for library administrators, and making research available in open access repositories in a well engineered environment.

Research limitations/implications – The service produced by the project is relatively new, and the long-term benefits or failings cannot yet be enumerated. The paper looks primarily at the management and organisational issues but does not deal with the technical details to any great extent.

Practical implications – A useful source of information for institutions considering heavy integration work and the use of the PRINCE2 methodology for engaging institutional support.

Originality/value – This paper introduces a heavily integrated repository system within UK higher education. A lack of literature on this topic suggests that this paper could be beneficial for others considering the same route.

Update. Here are two more articles from the same issue:

Update. There is now an OA edition of the Afshari-Jones paper.