We now have approximately 198 repositories in the UK and JISC programmes have played a major part in the set up and development of this infrastructure. Drivers for this growth vary from open access to research, to better information management or easy access to digital collections for teachers, learners and researchers.
There now are a range of projects that have been developing and delivering shared infrastructure services to support people managing these repositories – such as Sherpa Romeo, Open Access Repository Junction and PIRUS2. But to help further this, with particular focus on research papers, JISC has recently awarded EDINA funding to deliver key shared infrastructure services that meet shared needs, such as usage statistics, copyright management, search, preservation and deposit facilities.
The aim of this work is to make our repositories more coherent by bringing together key services and providing them at a national level. Neil Jacobs, Programme Director, Digital Infrastructure, comments that, “this work will build on the successful and widely used innovative shared infrastructure projects.”
What does this mean for universities? It means institutions and research organisations will be able to run their systems and processes more efficiently and effectively to better manage their textual research outputs. This will support university requirements, such as reporting around the Research Excellence Framework and make the related outputs more accessible and reusable. Rachel Bruce, Innovation Director, Digital Infrastructure says that, “this work is an opportunity to further enhance JISC Services to meet sector needs.”
In order to deliver a successful service environment for repositories, we’ll need to address sustainability issues and this is particularly challenging in our current shifting financial environment. I am aware we also need wide engagement with the university sector and other stakeholders such as the Research Councils and funders in the UK, and where appropriate with international initiatives. The benefit of working internationally is that there are some aspects of the service infrastructure that are also relevant to others outside of the UK; after all research is global.
I know that this latest investment in services will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to work together to meet common goals such as better research management and increased access to research findings. This phase of funded work will complete by March 2013 and more information will be available soon on the JISC website.
See resources and tool-kits on how JISC can help you with your research excellence.