Metadata only records

Gerry Thomasen

This morning I read an interesting post by Stuart Shieber listing seven reasons why metadata only articles in your repository are a good thing: The importance of dark deposit.  Number 5 resonated with me as it mirrored a discussion I’d had recently with a repository manager. Metadata only allows a very simple message to be given to researchers: always deposit your postprint (i.e. author’s final, peer reviewed version) and if there’s a problem with copyright, we’ll only make the metadata open access. I’d been talking to Dominic Tate (he was the repository manager in question) and we agreed that the complexity of copyright is probably the biggest barrier to effective advocacy – it just gets too complicated. Most surveys indicate that researchers are in principle in favour of open access but the reality of repository content shows that many do nothing in practice. Alongside this, they worry about breaching copyright and see the library as the locus of expertise in this area. So perhaps a simple message (always deposit) which also takes away the worry about copyright infringement is a winning combination. A one line advocacy strategy? I’d be really interested to get comments from repository staff – do you already do this, does it work?

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About Jackie Wickham
I am based at the Centre for Research Communications at the University of Nottingham. I work on the JISC funded Repositories Support Project which supports the development and growth of the UK repositories network.

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