Stakeholder engagement and project outreach are key areas for RepNet activity. When dealing with repository service provision, dissemination and discussion of the service candidates are as important as learning what the perceived needs are from the repository community. This includes collecting input on service requirements and about the willingness and technical resources available to implement these services.
In order to establish dialogue with different stakeholders interested in repository services, the RepNet project has been conducting an extensive outreach activity. This has been achieved by attending dozens of meetings and conferences (see RepNet Calendar) in order to liaise with the repository manager community, funders, policymakers, Research Office managers, researchers and external service providers, as well as attending related and/or overlapping international initiatives such as events organised by the European OpenAIRE project and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
Outputs gathered in this way are summarised below, including the RepNet survey for repository managers that was issued last Nov'2012 via the UKCoRR website, the RepNet factsheets and the RepNet maps for landscape description and service adoption. Additional information on relevant outreach activities is collected in the Calendar - where information is offered on all project presentations delivered and meetings attended - and through the UKRepNet project blog and twitter account. Finally, stakeholder engagement reports authored or commissioned by RepNet are collected in the relevant section below.
Following the RepNet presentation delivered at the UKCoRR annual membership meeting held on Nov 9th at Teesside University, a RepNet survey for institutional repository managers was released through the UKCoRR blog. The survey included 11 questions on the awareness, interest and readiness of repository managers for the different repository services that RepNet aimed to offer the repository community. These included, among others, SWORD endpoint enabling, RJ Broker-mediated content delivery into IRs, the IRUS-UK service for collecting COUNTER-compliant statistics, article-level repository usage, OpenAIRE compliance, automatic DOI collection services and strategies for measuring repository content growth.
More than 30 institutional repository managers responded to the survey during a two month period. Their feedback provided extremely useful information to the project for implementing repository services (implementation processes for both IRUS-UK and the RJ Broker benefitted greatly from the information provided) and to gather evidence for drawing the landscape of CRIS/IR adoption at UK HEIs.
A report on the survey results was compiled when the number of responses reached a significant level and was updated periodically to include the new evidence. The latest version of this survey result report is available here.
As a result of discussion on strategies for promoting the implementation of new (or existing but largely unknown and scarcely implemented) repository features held at the RepNet workshop in London last January, the RepNet team agreed to put compile and disseminate the RepNet factsheets. These provide brief descriptions, that are not too technical, of the features and enhancements available for repository managers to implement on their platforms, together with best practice for their implementation from colleagues within the IR network.
The RepNet factsheets are intended to provide a brief summary of technical features available for repositories as a means of promoting their wider implementation across the IR network. Given that EPrints and DSpace account for a large majority of the repository platforms currently operating (see the RepNet repository map), simple technical instructions are provided for these two platforms, together with a reference to IRs where they have already been implemented.
Besides the introductory factsheet, a preliminary list of candidate factsheets has been drawn up to address various technical enhancements for repositories including those listed below. Current factsheets may be updated as appropriate, and additional factsheets will be added as new repository services are implemented.
0) RepNet factsheets: an introduction
1) IRUS-UK (EPrints, DSpace)
2) SWORD endpoints (EPrints, DSpace)
3) RJ Broker
4) Automated DOI collection*
5) Automated Funder ID/Grant ID collection (via CRIS or otherwise)*
6) OpenAIRE compliance
7) LOCKSS disaster recovery feature
Note.- where a given service hasn't yet been sufficiently developed to have enough evidence to put together a service factsheet, a link is offered to some content where the service basics are explained – this is marked with an asterisk
An important part of the activity of RepNet has been the collection of information on the infrastructure landscape at UK repository network level. At project conception, RepNet was seen as an initiative for bringing together existing services and delivering new ones for the institutional repository community. However, as the project progressed, there were significant changes in the repository landscape, both at conceptual level (with the release of the Finch Report and the subsequent RCUK Open Access policy) and at the infrastructure level. It soon became evident that in order to deliver repository services, the whole research information management system configuration should be addressed (i.e. including frequently adopted CRIS systems and/or publication management systems). Significant effort has been made as a result to collect information to provide an adequate, up-to-date snapshot of the current infrastructure landscape in UK HEIs. this information is displayed on a set of maps. At infrastructure level there are RepNet maps for repository platform implementation across the IR network and for use cases in CRIS/IR adoption at UK HEIs.
RepNet also wishes to support the implementation strategies of its Wave 1 components. It will provide information on the progress of this implementation by delivering additional maps about Wave 1 component service adoption across the IR network. These will cover both IRUS-UK and, when it is implemented, the RJ Broker.
As part of the scoping exercise for RepNet, stakeholder engagement reports were commissioned from two sets of consultants, Glenaffric (GA) and Key Perspectives Ltd (KPL) to determine user requirements from various groups represented in the RepNet's map of the repository and Open Access publishing landscape.
GA's report focussed initially on IR managers, with more data gleaned from Principal Investigators (PIs) and research managers to be included in the final report. IRs very considerably with regard to purpose, role, visibility, perceived relevance and support. Generally IRs fulfil a number of valued functions with regard to curating, preserving, managing, accessing and monitoring research outputs from PIs. Researchers value the information provided by repository functions related to access, usage and citation statistics for their work. In some institutions the IR functions as the system of record for reporting research. In these cases access to the metadata referred to above will be important. IRs also enable compliance with research funder mandates for OA and institutional mandates for deposit. For RepNet, IRs provide accurate metadata for OA registries such as OpenDOAR, ROAR and ORI.
Glenaffric Ltd (Apr 2012), UK RepositoryNet+ Stakeholder Engagement with Institutional Managers and Principal Investigators
KPL explored the business processes and workflows of funding bodies related to the research dissemination system and the benefits they would seek to derive from RepNet. Funding bodies are very keen to assess the impact of the research they fund, but lack effective means of monitoring compliance at article level, particularly where more than one funding mandate applies, and where there are multiple authors across many institutions. CRISs are important here, as they hold funding metadata in the CERIF metadata schema, whereas IRs currently do not.
KPL also interviewed 13 academic publishers - both traditional and Open Access. OA publishers, like funders, are keen to see impact measures disaggregated to article level; this must be the post-print version, with a DOI. For RepNet, the PIRUS2 (now IRUS-UK) project demonstrated that COUNTER-compliant cross-repository statistics can be adduced, but the challenge will be for IRs to harvest DOI data, either manually from publishers (unlikely) or automatically through machine-to-machine interface with services such as CrossRef.
Key Perspectives Ltd (Nov 2011), “RepNet+ Stakeholder Engagement: Funders and Publishers”
Following the meeting held in January 2013 by the RepNet Focus Group attended by repository managers from the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Cranfield, the STARS joint venture was established in February 2013 as a collaboration between the University of St Andrews, RepNet and SDLC, the Scottish Digital Library Consortium which provides hosting and maintenance services to the Research@StAndrews:Full Text repository. The STARS initiative aimed to explore the opportunities for repository service implementation offered by a direct three-way cooperation between RepNet, an institution and its service provider. This activity should include implementation of RepNet Wave 1 components (i.e. IRUS-UK and the RJ Broker) plus proof of concept for RepNet's new applications, all of which could later be applied to further institutions. STARS was designed as a series of meetings to be held alternately in Edinburgh and St Andrews where participants would discuss the enabling of these services to run on Research@StAndrews:Full Text repository.
A relevant issue when addressing repository service implementation by the STARS joint venture was the fact that the University of St Andrews is running a CRIS+IR research information management system where the Pure CRIS operates as master system. This configuration, which is nowadays very usual in research-intensive universities, allowed RepNet to test its strategy for service implementation onto a much more evolved system where most services could also be offered from the CRIS. Part of the work carried out by the joint venture was analysis of whether it made more sense to offer services such as IRUS or the RJB from the institutional repository, the CRIS system or both.
Joint work carried out within the ongoing STARS joint venture has allowed the Research@StAndrews:Full Text IR to implement IRUS-UK. The repository is also about to become OpenAIRE-compliant and preliminary RJ Broker-mediated content transfers into the DSpace 1.8-based platform are scheduled to start shortly.