Fwd: "Request a copy" usage at Stirling

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 11:09:35 -0400

Forwarding. (Note that the Eprints software , the originator of
the "Request a copy" Button (soon kindly implemented at our request
for DSpace too , by Eloy Rodrigues) already has the feature of
directing requests to the author's email address rather than the
proxy depositor's. It is also possible to use the institution's LDAP
to associate the author's email address with the deposit.)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael White michael.white -- stir.ac.uk
Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 7:40 AM
Subject: "Request a copy" usage at Stirling
To: JISC-REPOSITORIES -- jiscmail.ac.uk

Talat Chaudri wrote:
> Does anyone have statistics for the actual use of the button, i.e.
> number of requests as a percentage of total access, number of
> agreed and refused by the author etc, for a particular repository?
> would be very interesting to see whether our experience was unusual
> typical. I would not like to advocate the button until it is shown
> that people really use it.  
OK, not a scientific analysis by a long shot, but your question got
me wondering and I've finally found a few minutes to investigate and
pull some basic (but unchecked) figures out of our system.
Here at Stirling we have had mandatory deposit of Journal Articles
in our repository (STORRE: http://storre.stir.ac.uk/) since September
2008. In order to enable immediate deposit of items where a publisher
requires an embargo, we have added an embargo facility and a "Request
a copy" button.
We are currently using DSpace v1.4.1. and our repository is all full
Total no. of items in STORRE at the end of March:    845
Total no. of item (metadata) views during March:    23,004
Total no. of bitstream (file) downloads during March:    25,506
Number of embargoed bitstreams at end of March:    101
Number of "Request a copy" requests during March:    33
Number of those requests accepted:    23
Number of those requests actively rejected: 0
OK, this means that embargoed items make up around 12% of repository
content - so embargoed items get (on average) 12% of views, i.e. 2760
views, and from those views, 33 copy requests are sent, so, on
average, this means that approximately 1.2% of viewers of embargoed
items go on to request a copy of that item . . .
I said it wasn't very scientific :-)
So, the button is definitely getting some use, and around 2/3rds of
those requests are (presumably) genuine requests that the submitter
has responded positively to. I have no feedback as to why around a
1/3 of requests are not getting (or perhaps just have not yet had) a
response - further investigation is required!
I have also had some anecdotal feedback from academics with embargoed
items in STORRE who are pleased that they are still able to use the
repository to promote their work and then use the "Request a copy"
functionality to provide copies to interested users for their own
personal use.
Talat also raised the issue of the "Request a copy" form being
spammed - from a quick look at the "Request a copy" data that has
been captured from STORRE (requester names/email addresses), it does
not appear that our "Request a copy" form is (currently!) being
Finally, as Talat mentioned in another part of this discussion, one
problem with the "Request a copy" feature (in the DSpace world) is
that the request is sent to the original submitter of the item - this
is fine when the author is the submitter, but we do occasionally do
mediated deposit in the Library, and we also allow "proxy depositing"
(where a departmental administrator will deposit on behalf of
academics in their department). To get around this, I've just created
a very basic application that will list all of the items submitted by
a given repository user, indicating which are currently under
embargo, and will then enable you to update the submitter information
for any items to enable requests for copies to be routed to the
appropriate academic (crude but effective!). Of course, the original
submitter information is still held in the provenance field so is not
lost completely . . .
I hope this is of interest.
Joint STORRE Manager

Michael White
eLearning Developer
Centre for eLearning Development (CeLD)
3V3a, Cottrell
University of Stirling

Email: michael.white_at_stir.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466877
Fax: +44 (0) 1786 466880


Academic Excellence at the Heart of Scotland.
The University of Stirling is a charity registered in Scotland,
number SC 011159.
Received on Wed Apr 01 2009 - 16:10:25 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:44 GMT