Institutional Repository Overviews: A Brief Bibliography

Posted in Bibliographies, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 13th, 2005

You want a good introduction to institutional repositories. What should you read? Try one or more of the works below. For a quick overview, try Drake, Johnson, or Lynch. For more detail, try Crow or Ware. For an in-depth, library-oriented overview, Gibbons can’t be beat.

Crow, Raym. The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper. Washington, DC: The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, 2002.

Drake, Miriam A. "Institutional Repositories: Hidden Treasures." Searcher 12, no. 5 (2004): 41-45.

Gibbons, Susan. "Establishing an Institutional Repository." Library Technology Reports 40, no. 4 (2004). (Available on Academic Search Premier.)

Johnson, Richard K. "Institutional Repositories: Partnering with Faculty to Enhance Scholarly Communication." D-Lib Magazine 8 (November 2002).

Lynch, Clifford A. "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age." ARL: A Bimonthly Report on Research Library Issues and Actions from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 226 (2003): 1-7.

Ware, Mark. Pathfinder Research on Web-based Repositories. London: Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions, 2004.

More Blind Than Double-Blind Review?

Posted in Scholarly Communication on May 12th, 2005

The Wall Street Journal has published an interesting article on the failure of medical journals to adequately screen articles (reprinted below in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):

To quote:

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year reviewed 122 medical-journal articles and found that 65 percent of findings on harmful effects weren’t completely reported. It also found gaps in half the findings on how well treatments worked. . . .

Journal editors rarely see the complete design and outcome of the studies summarized in articles submitted for publication. A typical article is perhaps six or seven pages long, even when the research behind it took years and involved thousands of patients. Peer reviewers — other scientists who work voluntarily to review articles before they are published — also see only the brief article. They might fail to notice suspicious omissions and changes in focus, or, if they do, lack the time or inclination to follow them up.

The View from the IR Trenches, Part 4

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 12th, 2005

Today, we’ll look at an article that describes the results of a one-year study at the University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries to "understand the current work practices of faculty in different disciplines in order to see how an IR might naturally support existing ways of work."

Foster, Nancy Fried, and Susan Gibbons. "Understanding Faculty to Improve Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories." D-Lib Magazine 11, no. 1 (2005).

Selected quotes from the article are below; the headings are mine. Caveat emptor: selected quotes are just that. It’s always a good idea to read the full paper. I would hope that these brief quotes entice you to do so.

Faculty Needs

The people we interviewed want most to be able to. . .

  • Work with co-authors
  • Keep track of different versions of the same document
  • Work from different computers and locations, both Mac and PC
  • Make their own work available to others
  • Have easy access to other people’s work
  • Keep up in their fields
  • Organize their materials according to their own scheme
  • Control ownership, security, and access
  • Ensure that documents are persistently viewable or usable
  • Have someone else take responsibility for servers and digital tools
  • Be sure not to violate copyright issues
  • Keep everything related to computers easy and flawless
  • Reduce chaos or at least not add to it
  • Not be any busier

Using Standard IR Terminology Doesn’t Work

Accordingly, when we tried to recruit content using typical IR promotional language, faculty members and researchers did not respond enthusiastically. This is because they did not perceive the relevance of almost any of the IR features as stated in the terms used by librarians, archivists, computer programmers, and others who were setting up and running the IR for the institution. One reason faculty have not rushed to put their work into IRs, therefore, is that they do not recognize its benefits to them in their own terms.

Another reason that faculty have expressed little interest in IRs is related to the way the IR is named and organized. The term ‘institutional repository’ implies that the system is designed to support and achieve the needs and goals of the institution, not necessarily those of the individual. Moreover, it suggests that contributions of materials into the repository serve to highlight the achievements of the institution, rather than those of individual researchers and authors. . . .

Faculty Are Most Interested in Communicating with Colleagues Worldwide

When it comes to research, a faculty member’s strongest ties are usually with a small circle of colleagues from around the world who share an interest in the same field of research, such as plasma astrophysics or contemporary European critical thought. It is with these colleagues, many of them at other institutions, that researchers most want to communicate and share their work. But most organizations have mapped their IR communities to their academic departments rather than to the subtle, shifting communities of scholars engaged in interrelated research projects. . . . In the absence of a strong connection that would naturally bring these documents together into a collection that other scholars would look for, find, and use, there is no compelling reason for the authors to make the submission.

One-on-One Librarian-Faculty Sessions Are Best Way to Interest Faculty

Rather than approach faculty with a set, one-size-fits-all promotional spiel, these library liaisons operate under the guidance that a personalized, tailored approach works best. As we learned from the work-practice study, what faculty members care most about is their research. . . . Throughout the conversation, the library liaison is listening for opportunities to demonstrate how the benefits of the IR respond directly to the faculty member’s web-related research needs. . . .

IR Benefits Must Be Stated in Terms That Faculty Relate To

By contrast to the language previously used to describe the features and benefits of the IR, we are now describing the IR in language drawn from faculty interviews. Thus, we tell faculty that the IR will enable them to. . .

  • Make their own work easily accessible to others on the web through Google searches and searches within the IR itself
  • Preserve digital items far into the future, safe from loss or damage
  • Give out links to their work so that they do not have to spend time finding files and sending them out as email attachments
  • Maintain ownership of their own work and control who sees it
  • Not have to maintain a server
  • Not have to do anything complicated

Scholarly Communication Web Sites at ARL Libraries

Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Webliographies on May 11th, 2005

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) currently has 123 member libraries in the US and Canada. Below is a list of scholarly communication web sites at ARL libraries. This list was complied by a quick examination of ARL libraries’ home pages, supplemented by some Google searching. It’s not comprehensive, and I would welcome additions.

More on OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons

Posted in Institutional Repositories, OAI-PMH, Open Access on May 6th, 2005

David F. Kohl has self-archived a PowerPoint presentation about the DRC at E-LIS. It’s called "Cooperating Beyond the ‘Buying Club’: Digital Resource Commons (DRC): Making the Impossible Possible in Ohio."

To quote from the abstract:

Each institution can ‘brand’ itself in the system and may host a discrete and customized interface to all of its content. To the end user it will appear as an institutional resource as if it were hosted on your own servers. There will also be a collective OhioLINK level branding and ability for searches to retrieve across the institutional collections. . . . You will have complete control of your own content and how it is accessed. Multi-tiered security levels will allow your content to be shared only to the extent desired. . . .

Alternatively content can be restricted to an individual department, to an institution, or to the OhioLINK membership. Each institution can set its own policies governing the content in its repositories. Likewise custom workflows can be established to make the most of the personnel involved in each project and expedite the content creation and capture process. The service will include robust and flexible cataloging tools to aid in the creation of records that can be searched and browsed effectively by all types of users. Catalog records can be exported in international standard XML formats such as the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. Through OhioLINK’s unique collaboration with the Ohio Supercomputer Center your content is stored on enterprise class servers and storage networks.. . . A huge storage area network allows virtually unlimited storage space on our disks. . . . Programming or system administration skills and experience are not required. The system is flexible and adaptable and provides services superior to ‘DSpace’ and ‘ContentDM’ without the associated costs.

OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons

Posted in Institutional Repositories, OAI-PMH, Open Access on May 6th, 2005

Peter Murray, Assistant Director of Multimedia Systems at OhioLINK recently posted a job announcement on LITA-L (I’d link, but given the way ALA safeguards access to its lists, it’s simply impossible) that brought to my attention a bold OhioLink project called the Digital Resource Commons, which is part of an even bolder project called the Ohio Digital Commons for Education. The quote from the job ad below describes the Digital Resource Commons. An earlier part of the ad indicates that Fedora will be used as the DRC’s platform.

OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons (DRC) is an Ohio Board of Regents-funded project to create a federated repository service that ingests, preserves, presents, and mediates administration of the educational and research materials of participating institutions. With the capability to store and deliver a virtually unlimited variety of digital file types and formats (including text, data sets, image, audio, video, streaming video, multimedia presentations, animations, etc.) the DRC is positioned to capture digital content from student and faculty researchers as it is produced and return it to users of the DRC upon request. The DRC offers wide and flexible control to member institutions and the communities within institution to define how content is added, preserved, and displayed to repository users. With federated community administration features, lead contacts at member institutions can create communities and delegate up to a complete subset of their privileges within the system to the editors/moderators of those new communities. The ability to scope and brand content to a particular community and institution is offered while retaining the ability to search for content across the entire repository. As both an Open Archives Initiative Data Provider and Service Provider, the DRC is positioned to become the premier point for the discovery of knowledge by and about Ohio’s scholars. In conjunction with the other parts of the Ohio Board of Regents grant funding, the DRC is one piece of a larger effort to build the Ohio Digital Commons for Education—a powerful vision for the future of learning and research in the state of Ohio.

The quote below from the DRC Web site describes the Ohio Digital Commons for Education.

The Digital Resource Commons is one of three projects funded by an Ohio Board of Regents Technology Initiatives grant collectively called the Ohio Digital Commons for Education (ODCE). The three components—this resource repository, the state-wide licensing and development of course management systems (WebCT and Blackboard), and a common access control mechanism (Shibboleth)—combine to offer a powerful vision for learning and research for the state of Ohio.

Impressive. As Daniel Hudson Burnham said: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized."

New OAI-PMH Guidelines

Posted in Copyright, Metadata, OAI-PMH on May 5th, 2005

The Open Archives Initiative has issued Conveying Rights Expressions about Metadata in the OAI-PMH Framework, a new Implementation Guidelines document aimed at clarifying the important issue of how to express rights information about harvested metadata in OAI-PMH.

From the document:

Data providers might want to associate rights expressions with the metadata to indicate how it may be used, shared, and modified after it has been harvested. This specification defines how rights information pertaining to the metadata should be included in responses to OAI-PMH requests. The described technique:

  • Is based on delivering rights expressions that apply to metadata included in OAI-PMH responses. It uses the optional containers that have been defined as part of the OAI-PMH specification. As a result, no changes to the protocol are made, and compatibility with all existing OAI-PMH implementations is maintained.
  • Is not tied to any particular rights expression language. This document makes use of Creative Commons and GNU licenses, but the use of these specific languages is for illustrative purposes only.

Essential reading for OAI-PMH geeks.

The View from the IR Trenches, Part 3

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 5th, 2005

Today, we’ll look at an article that provides a UK academic library’s view of its institutional repository responsibilities:

Nixon, William J. "The Evolution of an Institutional E-Prints Archive at the University Of Glasgow." Ariadne, no. 32 (2002).

Selected quotes from the article are below; the headings are mine. Caveat emptor: selected quotes are just that. It’s always a good idea to read the full paper. I would hope that these brief quotes entice you to do so.

Library IR Roles

(The below quotes are from a summary list of library roles in the article.)

IR Advocate

Encouraging members of the University to deposit material into the ePrints archives. At Glasgow we have started an Advocacy campaign to demonstrating that this service has a broader context beyond Glasgow . . . A recent event to raise awareness about the issues of Scholarly Communication provided us with an opportunity to launch our e-prints service and to raise its profile

Copyright Advisory Service

Providing advice to members of the University about copyright and journal embargo policies for material which they would like to deposit in our archive, and as appropriate liaising directly with the Journal in question. This will become a pivotal role in the acceptance of our e-prints service since copyright is the number one question which members of the University ask about

Digitization Service

Converting material to a suitable format such as HTML or PDF for import into the archive. It may also be necessary to ensure that HTML which is submitted is properly formatted and cross-browser compatible

Deposit Service

Depositing material directly on behalf of members of the University who do not, or cannot self-archive their material. In instances in which we have deposited papers on behalf of individuals, we have created a new account for them and used that to submit their content. . . .

Metadata Review and Creation Service

Reviewing the metadata of content which has been self-archived to maintain the quality of the record and to add any additional subject headings and keywords as appropriate.

Here Comes the Sun: Morphing Library Journals

Posted in Libraries on May 4th, 2005

Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) has a new editor, John Webb, and he’s outlined an ambitious agenda for the journal in his initial editorial in the March 2005 issue (volume 24, no. 1).

That issue includes articles on e-books myths, the International Children’s Library, and the Music of Social Change (MOSC) project. It’s a very promising start that suggests that he may he able to reinvigorate ITAL.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ITAL, it is a low-cost refereed journal published by the Library and Information Technology Association. There is free access to selected articles published in the journal from March 2001 to March 2004. There is no information on the Web site about any other issues (including the current one), except a note about potential retrospective digitization.

In case you haven’t noticed, OCLC Systems & Services now has a subtitle of "International Digital Library Perspectives." Since the journal now seems to be primarily about digital libraries, why the title wasn’t changed completely is bit of a mystery. It is a refereed "for-fee" journal with no free access, which is published by Emerald. It’s edited by Bradford Lee Eden.

Both of these journals have high-quality free competitors in or significantly overlapping their niche (e.g., Ariadne, D-LIB Magazine, and RLG DigiNews). To a lesser degree, they also overlap with other significant free (e.g, First Monday, High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine, and Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship) and free-with-embargo-access journals (Learned Publishing). Not to mention some major for-fee global competitors. This presents the editors with paper recruitment challenges, especially since US authors now happily cross the big pond when they seek homes for their papers.

Both of these morphing journals are worth keeping an eye on.

The View from the IR Trenches, Part 2

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 4th, 2005

Today, we’ll look at an article about the challenges involved in populating an institutional repository:

Mackie, Morag. "Filling Institutional Repositories: Practical Strategies from the DAEDALUS Project." Ariadne, no. 39 (2004).

The DAEDALUS Project is at the University of Glasgow. This article is an especially interesting case study, and it details a number of useful, imaginative strategies for populating an IR.

Selected quotes from the article are below; the headings are mine. Caveat emptor: selected quotes are just that. It’s always a good idea to read the full paper. I would hope that these brief quotes entice you to do so.

Faculty Do Not Want to Deposit Works Themselves

Despite a generally encouraging response, this did not translate into real content being deposited in the repository. . . . We found that it was difficult to get staff to give or send us electronic copies of their papers, even when they had promised to do so. This was our first indication that while staff may be sympathetic many of them do not have the time or the inclination to contribute. They were happy to give us permission to do the work on their behalf, but could not commit to doing the work themselves. Clearly the advantages of institutional repositories were not yet sufficiently convincing to academics to persuade them to play an active part in the process.

Determining Which Articles Can be Legally Deposited Is Difficult and Time Consuming

[T]he majority of academics we contacted were happy for us to establish which of their publications could be added to the repository.

While an extremely useful resource and one that is growing all the time, the [SHERPA] list does not cover all publishers. . . . it has been necessary to track down policies from publishers’ Web sites, or to contact publishers directly where these do not exist or where they do not address the issue of whether an author is permitted to make his or her paper available in a repository. No two publisher polices are exactly the same, and many do not explicitly state what rights authors have in relation to repositories. . . . Interpreting publisher copyright policies is also a difficult area, particularly as there is no real precedent and no case law.

Where copyright policies did not exist or where they were unclear, we contacted the publishers directly and asked for permission. . . . Although some publishers reply quickly, others may take some weeks and some do not reply at all. We found that publishers were more likely to give permission for specific papers to be added than to outline their general policy on the issue. Consequently permissions for most articles have to be established on a case-by-case basis.

It Is Challenging to Identify Possible Depositors Using Open Access Journals

It would be useful to be able to identify additional content in other open access journals, but so far we have not found an easy way of doing this. The Directory of Open Access Journals. . . is very useful, but it does not enable searching by institution or author affiliation.

For IRs to Be Filled, Deposit May Need to be Mandated

Although we have succeeded in adding a reasonable amount of content to the repository we have also been offered significant amounts of content that cannot be added because of restrictive publisher copyright agreements. . . . This is a clear demonstration that major changes need to take place at a high level in order for repositories to be successful. Although some academics have taken the decision to try and avoid publishing in the journals of publishers with restrictive policies, this is still relatively rare. We can inform staff about the issues, but we cannot and should not dictate in which journals they publish. Change is only likely to happen if staff are required, either by the funding councils or by their institution, to make their publications available either by publishing in open access journals or in journals that permit deposit in a repository.

The View from the IR Trenches, Part 1

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 3rd, 2005

It may be helpful in understanding IRs to to examine some of the articles mentioned in yesterday’s "Early Adopters of IRs: A Brief Bibliography" posting in more detail.

Today, we’ll look at:

Andrew, Theo. "Trends in Self-Posting of Research Material Online by Academic Staff." Ariadne, no. 37 (2003).

This paper presents findings from "a baseline survey of research material already held on departmental and personal Web pages in the domain" (this is the University of Edinburgh’s domain).

Selected quotes from the article are below; the headings are mine. Caveat emptor: selected quotes are just that. It’s always a good idea to read the full paper. I would hope that these brief quotes entice you to do so.

Self-Archiving Disciplinary Differences Matter

As expected, there is a clear difference between academic areas. The average percentage of self-archiving scholars in each College supports this view. Within the College of Science and Engineering (S&E) this figure is 14.81%, which drops to 3.18% within Humanities and Social Science (HSS) and 0.32% within Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (MVM).

However, the situation is more complex than a simple trend of self-archiving being better established in S&E. Looking at the averages between Schools shows that even within Colleges there is a wide distribution of values. In S&E this ranges from 32.67% in Informatics to 6.99% in Engineering and Electronics. . . and in HSS from 12.70% in Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences to 0% in Divinity and Law . . . .

Even within individual Schools there is a noticeable change in self-archiving attitudes. For example, self-archiving percentages within the School of GeoScience range from 29.41% in Meteorology down to 0% in Geography. . . .

Disciplinary Archives May Not Be Generally Trusted

Considering the wide-ranging self-archiving trends between academic Colleges and even within Schools, it seems there is a direct correlation between willingness to self-archive and the existence of subject-based repositories. . . . because the ArXiv has become so successful . . . academics trust it as their ‘natural’ repository for self-archived material. The same degree of trust may not yet obtain in the case of the subject repositories mentioned above, which leads to additional self-archiving in home institution repositories. . . . where there is a pre-existing culture of self-archiving eprints in subject repositories, scholars are more likely to post research material on their own Web pages, until such time as those subject repositories become trusted for their comprehensiveness and persistence.

Low Number of Preprints Found on Personal Web Pages

A surprising finding from the baseline survey is the relatively low volume of preprints found on personal Web pages. This could be related to the success of eprint repositories. . . . Preprints do not have anywhere near the same impact factor as those papers from accredited journal titles, so it is possible that researchers would favour only putting their most impressive work in their online CV.

Scholars Are Confused by Copyright Agreements

One aspect of the survey that is not shown in the results is the lack of consistency in dealing with copyright and IPR issues that scholars face when placing material online. Some academic units have responded by not self-archiving any material at all. . . . A small percentage of individual scholars have responded by using general disclaimers that may or may not be effective. Others, generally well-established professors, have posted material online that is arguably in breach of copyright agreements. . . . Most, however, take a middle line of only posting papers from sympathetic publishers who allow some form of self-archiving. It is apparent that if institutional repositories are going to work, then this general confusion over copyright and IPR issues needs to be addressed right at the source.

Early Adopters of IRs: A Brief Bibliography

Posted in Bibliographies, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on May 2nd, 2005

In "Two Views of IRs," I discussed institutional repositories in the abstract. A useful exercise, but we don’t need to just conjecture about how IRs will be structured and supported. Nor do we need to simply speculate about the issues that they will face. IRs exist, and we can "ask" their managers these questions by examining the articles that have been written about them. (Yesterday’s "ARL Institutional Repositories" posting provides another way to investigate operational IRs: try them out.)

Below is brief bibliography of interesting articles about IRs that are notable for providing insider views. You’ll note that many of them are about UK IRs. The UK has been in the forefront of the IR movement.

Andrew, Theo. "Trends in Self-Posting of Research Material Online by Academic Staff." Ariadne, no. 37 (2003).

Ashworth, Susan. "The DAEDALUS Project." Serials 16, no. 3 (2003): 249-253.

Ashworth, Susan, Morag Mackie, and William J. Nixon. "The DAEDALUS Project, Developing Institutional Repositories at Glasgow University: The Story So Far." Library Review 53, no. 5 (2004): 259-264.

Barton, Mary R., and Julie Harford Walker. "Building a Business Plan for DSpace, MIT Libraries’ Digital Institutional Repository." Journal of Digital Information 4, no. 2 (2003).

Baudoin, Patsy, and Margret Branschofsky. "Implementing an Institutional Repository: The DSpace Experience at MIT." Science & Technology Libraries 24, no. 1/2 (2003): 31-45.

Foster, Nancy Fried, and Susan Gibbons. "Understanding Faculty to Improve Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories." D-Lib Magazine 11, no. 1 (2005).

Hey, Jessie. "Targeting Academic Research with Southampton’s Institutional Repository." Ariadne, no. 40 (2004).

Mackie, Morag. "Filling Institutional Repositories: Practical Strategies from the DAEDALUS Project." Ariadne, no. 39 (2004).

Nixon, William J. "DAEDALUS: Freeing Scholarly Communication at the University of Glasgow." Ariadne, no. 34 (2003).

________. "The Evolution of an Institutional E-Prints Archive at the University Of Glasgow." Ariadne, no. 32 (2002).

Soehner, Catherine. "The eScholarship Repository: A University of California Response to the Scholarly Communication Crisis." Science & Technology Libraries 22, no. 3/4 (2002): 29-37.

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Digital Scholarship

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