The Repositories Support Project is now in its second phase of operation running until March 2012. This JISC funded project was set up to co-ordinate and deliver good practice and practical advice to English and Welsh HEIs to enable the implementation, management and development of digital institutional repositories. In its first 2.5 year phase, the project was led by SHERPA, University of Nottingham with core partners, the University of Wales Aberystwyth, and UKOLN at the University of Bath. Other funded partners were the University of Southampton and the Digital Curation Centre. All partners represent key centres of expertise regarding repositories, and the project built on their previous national and international activity across the repositories landscape. In its second phase, the RSP is based at the University of Nottingham at the CRC.
The Repositories Support Project (RSP) contributes to building repository capacity, knowledge and skills within institutions. Through providing guidance and advice it benefits the whole of the UK sector resulting in the wider take-up and development of institutional repositories in HEIs.
The aim of the project is to progress the vision of a deployed network of inter-working repositories for academic papers, learning materials and research data across the UK. Whilst fulfilling the business requirements of HEIs to manage their assets, showcase research outputs, and share learning materials, such a network of populated repositories will be a major step forward in the provision of open access materials.
Although some institutions are in the advanced stages of establishing well managed repositories the deployment of repositories is still patchy and many institutions do not have the expertise, resources or confidence to address the repository agenda without external encouragement and support. Consequently, whilst there are still many interesting areas for theoretical research, the principal aim of the RSP will be to increase the pace of institutional adoption by providing practical assistance and advice based on available solutions, with an emphasis on operational issues to do with the installation, implementation and deployment of institutional repositories.
The RSP has an active outreach programme of advice and information. This targets institutions that are yet to take the first step, as well as giving more advanced institutions guidance on embedding existing repositories within institutional strategies. In both instances the intention is to provide clear decision paths, succinct guidance notes and hands-on support. In developing its services and support the project draws not only on the wide-ranging expertise resident in the CRC but also upon the substantial amount of additional expertise, research and infrastructure already available within the sector.
In this second phase, RSP concentrates in five main activity areas:
- Materials to support development
- Enquiry services
- Regional and national events
- Technical Support
- Consultancy site visits
The RSP consults with the community at large and with JISC programme managers in order to ensure institutions can be effectively supported whatever their repository type or stage of maturity. A databank of expertise, know-how and best practice has been built up. It is delivered with different views for target audiences and repository types, tailored to specific needs and available in multiple formats. Support materials concentrate on four broad themes:
- Technical: software selection and installation, technologies, metadata, interoperability
- Organisational: staffing, business requirements and incentives, copyright clearance and digital rights management
- Repository management: policies, workflows, archiving and preservation
- Advocacy: advocating to different stakeholders and advising on advocacy within institutions