Open Access Institutional Repositories 'vital to UK economy'

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 12:17:32 +0100

    Excerpts from a summary of the JISC Conference on Digital Repositories
    (Manchester 6 June 2007)

    'A major conference on digital repositories took place this week in
    Manchester, attracting nearly 200 delegates from around the UK...

    'Rachel Bruce, JISC programme director [said that] JISC's Digital
    Repositories programme... had given significant impetus to repository
    development in the UK...

    'Andy Powell of the Eduserv Foundation gave the first keynote
    presentation on the "Repositories Roadmap"... The vision for
    2010... is increasingly "not if, but when" newly published scholarly
    outputs [are] made... open access. The situation now might therefore
    require us to set a more ambitious target than that of a "high
    percentage"... the Web['s] role as a means of discovery and access
    need[s] to be emphasised more... [C]onceptualising repositories as
    websites forces us to "think about their usability, their information
    architectures and their accessibility."

    'Dr Keith Jeffrey of the Science and Technology Facilities Council
    gave the second keynote address. The benefits of open access
    repositories, he claimed, include faster "research turnaround",
    improved quality for the originators of research as colleagues were
    able review the research more easily, as well as improved quality for
    the community in general. They also support innovation, he continued,
    improve education and public engagement with science and research
    and enhance an institution's standing.

    'In conclusion he said that the development of repositories and the
    wider access to research outputs they enabled should not be delayed
    by commercial interests.

    'Dr Jeffrey then launched the Depot, a national repository open to
    all UK authors to submit their research papers and other outputs
    into [right now, if their institution does not yet have its own
    Repository]. Claiming that the Depot marked an "important milestone"
    in the development of a national infrastructure for repositories,
    Dr Jeffrey explained that the Depot constituted a national facility
    or set of services, including a reception service which redirects
    authors to an institutional repository where one exists, as well as
    ingest, storage, transfer and access services for the depositing of
    research outputs, principally post-prints.

    '[In] a keynote presentation... Professor Drummond Bone,
    Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and President
    of Universities UK... began by saying that Universities UK
    was "firmly behind" JISC's approach to the development of open
    access repositories, suggesting that repositories were "vital to
    universities' economies and to the UK economy as a whole."

    'Like JISC, he continued, Universities UK believed furthermore that
    the benefits of repositories included improved efficiency of research
    processes, greater cooperation, improved learning and teaching,
    a commitment both to preservation and to wider access...

    'Further details of the conference, including presentations, will
    be available shortly.'
Received on Sat Jun 09 2007 - 13:15:52 BST

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