Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welsh project will put an IR in each Welsh university

The Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) has launched the Welsh Repository Network.  From Friday's announcement:

Searching for published research by academic staff at Welsh Higher Education Institutions is set to become significantly easier following the launch of a new on-line service – the Welsh Repository Network.

Developed under the auspices of the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF), the Welsh Repository Network is made up of 12 individual university research repositories that have been created to showcase cutting-edge, peer-reviewed research in the arts, humanities and sciences.

The network was formally launched during a one day conference held by the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum at the National Library of Wales on Thursday 19 February.

The 12 Higher Education Institutions involved are Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff University, Glyndwr University, The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Swansea University, Swansea Metropolitan University, Trinity College Carmarthen, University of Glamorgan, University of Wales Lampeter, University of Wales Newport, and the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.

Speaking at the launch Mr Andrew Green, Librarian of the National Library of Wales, described the development as a “mini revolution”. Dr Andrew Prescott, Manager of Library Services at the University of Wales Lampeter, referred to the network as one of the most significant developments for universities since the introduction of University printing presses in the 16th century.

With the advent of the Welsh Repository Network, Wales becomes the first country in the UK where all Higher Education Institutions have established on-line repositories.

The development of the Network was led by Dr Michael Hopkins and Stuart Lewis at Aberystwyth University and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

Dr Michael Hopkins, Director of Information Services at Aberystwyth University said;
“The repositories allow universities to archive and protect the intellectual output of their institutions, but also make available cutting edge research to the world, enabling more open dissemination of the ground breaking and world leading research undertaken across Wales through the Open Access movement.” ...

The full list of repositories is:

Today the project released the Repository Hardware Case Studies, released today.  "This document contains a case study for each of the repositories, detailing the repository hardware purchased, and the reasons behind the purchasing decisions made."

For background, also see Stuart Lewis and Hannah Payne, How the West was won: Providing repositories across the principality of Wales, ALISS Quarterly, January 2009.

Abstract:   Within Wales there exists a close-knit community of twelve higher education institutions. We have our own funding body, the Higher Funding Council for Wales, our own library and IT forums: Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) and Higher Education Wales Information Technology (HEWIT), and our own National Library. Like the rest of the UK though, three years ago the number of institutions with repositories was very low, and those that existed contained very little in the way of content. In contrast, today there is full coverage, with each of the institutions running a repository. Some are maturing, some are still just starting out, but the essential building blocks of repositories are in place. With the assistance of the dedicated Welsh arm of the JISC-funded Repositories Support Project (RSP) the repositories are now in place and growing.


  • Kudos to all involved at WHELF, HEWIT, JISC, RSP, and the 12 universities.  When all the Welsh repositories are launched, next month, the crucial follow-up step will be for each university to adopt an effective policy to ensure that its research output is actually deposited in the new IR. 
  • Soon we'll have to start a list of all the countries in which all universities (or at least all public universities) have IRs.  I suspect that the Netherlands and Germany belong on the list and that Ireland is close.  Can anyone help me shape and confirm this list?