UDORA Briefing Day

The RSP team recently took part in a briefing day organised by the  University of Derby to kick off a pilot project for their new Open Access Repository, UDORA.

Richard Finch, Academic Services Manager for the University Library, welcomed everyone and provided us with the background to the project. Jackie Wickham from RSP provided an overview of Open Access, our colleague, Jane Smith from   Romeo and  Juliet then introduced to ROMEO and JULIET and described how they can be used to identify what is required by in relation to making  publications Open Access and also the policies of publishers in relation to this.  Copyright issues and publisher’s policies had been identified as a primary concern for participants going into the briefing day and they seemed pleasantly surprised to hear that many publishers allow some form of Open Access deposit.

In addition to the contributions from RSP, ROMOE and JULIET the briefing day also included a session from BioMed Central Open Repository who gave a walkthrough of the Open Repository software that participants in the Pilot would be using.

As a new member of the  RSP team it was really interesting to hear the concerns of academics in relation to Open Access firsthand, and I was very pleased to note the enthusiasm with which the attendees engaged with the both the benefits of depositing their work in an Open Access Repository and also the challenges to doing so. The event was quite informal and questions were welcomed throughout the event.  Questions revealed the natural concerns of the academics dealing with the issues surrounding Open Access, many for the first time. One questioner was concerned that providing Open Access to his publications prior to publication might encourage plagiarism, or the appropriation of their underlying idea.  This led to an interesting discussion which concluded that providing any access to your research (through traditional publishing models or Open Access) opens you up to these risks, but depositing pre-prints could allow you to stake your claim earlier in the process and actually help to tackle this issue. Other questions focused on copyright issues and publisher policies and participants were encouraged to make use of  JISC’s copyright toolbox and the ROMEO and JULIET services. Discussion wasn’t limited to obstacles however, and during the break I joined some early career researchers enthusing about the potential citations implications for Open Access and the moral issues surrounding opening up research.

As a new member of the team I found this event to be a really interesting introduction to the RSP project and the issues and challenges our community face on a day to day basis.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the pilot project and progress of the UDORA repository and wish the team there every success!

For further information regarding the UDORA Repository please contact Melanie Keady:



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