Tuesday 10 July 2007

Some Background

Just for the record, I ought to explain a bit about the repository that I manage.

The repository contains about 10,000 records and gets about 600 new deposits per year. There are 2400 papers published since 2004, of which 1400 have open access full texts. I'll have more to say on this percentage later.

It started off life as a bibliography database and was migrated to EPrints in Spring 2000. Its use as a bibliographic record of all school output was already well established but a full text mandate was added in January 2003. The explicit aim has always been for 'light touch' repository management, with all eprints being self-deposited and no editorial workflow to check the metadata. For the last two years the role of 'repository manager' has been an official school administrative task, that is, one of those jobs that are assigned to academics to take on as part of their 30% admin. Up to now, the extent of my work has really been to generate termly reports for the Research Committee that summarise the deposits made by each individual in the school and their compliance with the mandate. This is half a day's effort, three times a year or 0.68% FTE.

I also work with the repository administrator who is also our webmaster. He keeps an eye on the repository, managing backups and fixing occasional problems (estimated "a couple of hours per month" or 1.5% FTE). He also runs about six more repositories on the same basis (on the same server) for various of the school's EU and UK funded projects. The server in question is a five-year-old PC running Linux RedHat 7.3 - it was not particularly powerful at the time.

In the steady state, therefore, once you have got your repository up and running and everyone is used to using it, you can see that the resource requirements for a school repository are not onerous!

Having said that, we have just bought (but not commissioned) a new server and we have just spent some significant time configuring the repository to handle our RAE returns in exactly the way that we wanted. Although EPrints has a module for RAE support, our Head of School (Research) had very specific requirements for handling the data. So I haven't included that as a repository expense per se.

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