Re: ARL Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 20:36:16 -0400

My own detailed reading of the data in the summary supports
Stevan's comments, and indicates that planners of IRs should
consider the summary data with care:

quoting from p. 16,
"For start-up, 67% of budgets fall below $75,000, 14% are $75,000 to $125,000, and 19% are
$150,000 or greater. The maximum start-up budget ($1,800,000) is far greater than the next highest
($400,000) and is from an institution that included extensive software development and testing costs
in its start-up budget.
For ongoing budgets, there is a similar concentration
at the ends of the ranges: 50% are below $50,000 and 50% are $100,000 or greater. The
maximum ongoing budget ($500,000) is also much greater than the next highest ($300,000) and is reported
by an institution that has a major role in a state-wide IR initiative."

They also give the median, which for those have implemented the
repository is $45,000 start up (with a minimum value of $8,000)
 and $42,000 operating costs (with a minimum value of $8,600).

It is of course possible to spend a great deal more--in the million dollar range--if
one counts the costs of developing a large-scale-wide network, or extensive new software.
Developing a such a system is outside the category of Institutional Repositories,
and should not have been included.

If i were giving a quick summary, I would emphasize the low end, especially for the start up costs:
It can be done for less than $10,000, even at a large research university. (And all the ARL libraries are
by definition at large research universities.)

I wonder at the staffing figures. Quoting from p.21
"The typical IR was supported by about 28 FTE"
This is impossibly high, even for the single most expensive project.
I think what was intended might have been:
"The total number of the staff working for at least
a small part of their time on the IR project were from 28FTE positions," and this might have
perhaps 30 individuals. I do not see the purpose of presenting
these numbers as FTE--one only needs to figure out the total effort.

The main purpose of most of these projects was not OA. It was ETD
(Electronic Theses and Dissertations.) (p.18) For three-quarters of the libraries
this was the major type of deposit. This is of course very valuable also,
and many of the key developers of ETD archives are also involved in IRs for OA.
There may also be reasons for starting with ETDs-it is trivial to require their authors to deposit.
They are eager to get their degree, and are in no position to refuse or delay.

I will be glad to revise this in the light of the full report, if the authors
will send it to me. If one publishes with only the summary OA, one
will be judged by that summary. This places a special responsibility on
the authors of a report such as this to ensure that the key values
properly represent the data, because such numbers alone will be what is quoted.

Perhaps the 22% of ARL libraaries not planning an IR
are dismayed by misleading cost data.

Dr. David Goodman
Bibliographer and Research Librarian
Princeton University Library

----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Monday, August 21, 2006 6:20 pm
Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] ARL Publishes SPEC Kit 292: Institutional Repositories

> On Mon, 21 Aug 2006, ARL wrote:
> > ARL Publishes SPEC Kit 292:
> >
> >
> > Since 2002, when DSpace and other institutional
> > repository (IR) software began to be available,
> I wonder why ARL refers to 2002 when EPrints, the first and
> most widely used IR software, was created in 2000!
> (Both EPrints and DSpace were created by the same developer, by the
> way:then Southampton doctoral student Rob Tansley. But Rob created
> EPrintsfirst, and to our specs at Southampton -- before he was
> poached by HP
> and MIT! Since then, EPrints has continued to develop under
> Southampton'sspecs, under the tender care of Rob's successor and
> Eprints' current
> award-winning developer, Southampton's Chris Gutteridge. Rob has since
> moved on to google.)
> > The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member
> > libraries in January 2006. Eighty-seven libraries
> > (71%) responded to the survey. Of those, 37 (43%)
> > have an operational IR...
> According to ROAR, there are at least 200 OAI-compliant
> archives in the US, 115 of them institutional
> or departmental IRs, 18 of them e-thesis IRs):
> > By a large majority, the most frequently used
> > local IR software was DSpace, with DigitalCommons
> > (or the bepress software it is based on) being
> > the system of choice for vendor-hosted systems.
> The ROAR figures for total US OAI archives are:
> DSpace: 55
> EPrints: 52
> Bepress: 44
> The corresponding figures worldwide are:
> EPrints: 210
> DSpace: 167
> Bepress: 53
> > The average IR start-up cost has been around
> > $182,500 and its average ongoing operation budget
> > is about $113,500.
> For some less daunting cost estimates (for OA-focussed IRs that know
> their target content -- institutional peer-reviewed research output
> --
> and know how and why to get it deposited) see:
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Aug 22 2006 - 03:38:41 BST

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