Tuesday 18 November 2008

The Value that Repositories Add

One of the things I failed to do during the Evidence of Researcher Engagement meeting was to give a presentation that I had been working on for over a week. The discussion just ran away with me! So I have been persuaded to post it to the Web to try and get the message "out there".

A repository should be able to provide lots of benefits to its users. In particular, it should make things more valuable when they are deposits than when they are just files on a laptop or on a web server. This presentation is written to inform researchers of the kinds of things that should be able to do with their material in repositories. It starts off with the basic functions that are provided FOR THEM (wide access, persistence, backups, bibliography pages, administrative reports etc) and then tackles the kinds of ways that researchers can take advantage of the material FOR THEMSELVES.

This is not a complete list - I would love to have lots more suggestions and examples - and in some ways it is a bit optimistic. No repository will do all the things that I have listed - but it shouldn't be too hard for any repository to provide some of these services.

The other thing that I failed to do was to attract many visitors to the EPrints table during the sponsored breakfast. I was convinced that my brilliant marketing idea of a platter of Apple and Raisin fritters would get people lining up to read my leaflets, but unfortunately the quality of the rest of the breakfast buffet was just so great that I couldn't compete. Oh well, onwards and upwards!

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