Open Research Online - a self-archiving success story

Smith, Colin; Chudasama, Sheila and Yates, Christopher (2010). Open Research Online - a self-archiving success story. In: The 5th International Conference on Open Repositories, 6-9 Jul 2010, Madrid, Spain.



Broadly speaking, institutional research repositories can be split into three categories based on the way in which they secure content.

1. Passive Repositories, which essentially rely on content drifting in as and when faculty members become aware of the repository for themselves.

2. Incentivised Repositories, which typically have one or more dedicated staff member involved in managing, advocating and developing the repository, as well as supporting faculty members in their engagement with the repository.

3. Mandated Repositories, which encompass all the elements of incentivised repositories, but are also underpinned by an institutional mandate, requiring faculty members to deposit their research.

Much debate exists in the literature, on listservs, and in the blogosphere as to whether a successful and sustainable repository can be achieved solely through advocacy, management, and development, or whether this is only likely to happen if an institutional mandate is introduced. A much quoted figure is that a non-mandated repository is only likely to capture around 15% of its institution's research output, and at the very most (for an Incentivised Repository) 30% (Harnad, 2009).

In this poster, we use the example of Open Research Online - the research repository of the Open University - to show that dedicated management and active development and advocacy of an institutional repository can lead to very successful results under the self-archiving model, in this case capturing regularly an estimated 60% of peer-reviewed journal output. Also demonstrated is the significant rise in full text (i.e. fully open access) items in the repository since the implementation of this approach.

Harnad, S. (2009) DEBATE: Institutional repository success is dependent upon mandates. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 5 (4).

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