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The University of Southampton

Open Repositories 2008 to set new missions for universities

Published: 27 March 2008

Powerful new ways in which universities are self-archiving their research output will be showcased next week at the Open Repositories 2008 (OR08) conference.

OR08, the international meeting on Open Repositories, will be hosted by the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton from 1-4 April. ECS, the world's first school to adopt an open-access self-archiving mandate has been a world-leader in the Open Access (OA) movement since its inception.

Repositories play a pivotal role in the evolving scholarly information environment of open access research outputs and scholarly collections. With its theme of Practice and Innovation, OR08 will create an opportunity for practitioners and researchers to share experiences and to explore the challenges of the new scholarly communication.

Participants are also invited to a special conference session on University Open Access entitled The University's Mission, Management and Mandate in the Open Access Era, which has been organised by Dr Les Carr at ECS and will take place on Friday 4 April.

The session will be led by Professor Bernard Rentier, Rector of the University of Liege and founder of EurOpenScholar, the aim of which is to inform European universities about Open Access and increase the number of European universities with mandatory Open Access policies.

Professor Rentier will describe exciting and innovative ways for EurOpenScholar and the European University Association to work together to push forward the OA agenda in Europe. Other speakers are at this event are Dr John Smith, Deputy Secretary General, European University Association and Dr Alma Swan, Key Perspectives Ltd.

Professor Stevan Harnad, Professor of Cognitive Science at the University and one of the founders of the OA worldwide movement, who will outline the major challenges facing OA, said: 'So far, there have been 39 university and funder OA self-archiving mandates worldwide, including those of Southampton, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts & Sciences, six of the seven UK research councils and National Institutes of Health in the USA and in Italy.

'It is now time to systematically accelerate adoption universally using the incentive of the research assessment metrics that OA has been shown to enhance.'

OR08 will also invite participants to take part in a new Repository Challenge prize activity to produce demonstrations of novel repository capability. The aim is to get delegates working in small teams to try to pull together established platforms and services to demonstrate a glimpse of some real-life, user-relevant scenarios and services. An awards ceremony at the conference dinner will celebrate the achievements of the teams.

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