RSP Embedding Guide

This guide has been published by the Repositories Support Project and will help institutions to get the best value from their institutional repositories through integration with other university systems, particularly research management systems. This can bring advantages to institutions, by:

  • Helping in planning for the REF and reporting
  • Promoting the university’s research in a global context
  • Increasing engagement with businesses and the community
  • Widening access to the university’ research generally

It is aimed at repository staff but will be of interest to other groups such as academic librarians and research management staff.

Over the past few years, there have been a number of JISC funded projects and other institutional initiatives which have focused on the embedding of research repositories into organisational systems, policies and workflows. The results have been documented in websites, blogs, conference presentations etc but they have not been synthesised into a coherent whole.

The aim of this publication is to do just that i.e. collate the learning and experience of previous projects into a clear, well organised guide that is of practical help to repository staff in the UK. The guide is multi-media including textual content, video clips and a self assessment questionnaire will provide an “embedded score”. This latter will help a repository manager to focus on areas for development and also provide a useful vehicle for initiating inter departmental working within the institution.

In the introduction to the guide, embedding is described as:

  • Working towards a culture among researchers which leads them to view the repository as a natural  tool for disseminating their research and for raising their profile, which will in turn increase the volume of actual outputs placed in the repository
  • Ensuring that the repository is seen by both researchers and senior managers as part of the institutional research infrastructure rather than a separate information or data silo and is properly resourced to fulfil that role
  •  Making certain that the process of deposit into the repository forms part of the workflow for research in as seamless a way as possible and avoiding duplication of effort
  • Linking the repository to external systems  (such as those of funders) and information sources (e.g. Web of Science), where appropriate
  • Facilitating the search and discovery process to ensure that the repository’s contents are easily found and appropriately linked to other information such as staff profiles

It is recognised that each institution is different and unique but these are encapsulated for the purposes of the guide in three scenarios:

Scenario 1: embedding a repository which acts as the core research publications database for an institution

Scenario 2: embedding a repository within a research eco-system which includes a Current Research Information System (CRIS) or other research management system.

Scenario 3: Using the repository functions of a CRIS itself

Case Studies illustrate each of these scenarios and give a detailed insight as to how they have been implemented.

While the key requirements for successful embedding in the culture and workflows of the research community in a university apply across all the scenarios, the challenges in terms of people, processes and technologies may differ. The Guide is divided into sections:


Making the business case

Introduction to populating an embedded repository

Integration and implementation

Driving and measuring usage

A comments facility is included throughout the Guide and we welcome your feedback and examples of embedding at your institution.

If repositories are to develop and thrive, they need to be connected to other university systems. Otherwise they run the risk of becoming silos which are peripheral to the university’s business. This guide will help in pointing the way to successful integration.

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.

One Response to RSP Embedding Guide

  1. Pingback: Repositories Support Project – Embedding Guide and Toolkit « Integrated Research Input & Output System 2

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