Value-added User Services (Panel discussion)
To build and expand a repository, users must see value in the content and service provided. A repository serves faculty and researchers, as well other off-campus coming to access the content. As institutions develop value-added services, they need to keep in mind the different communities and tailor services around those different information needs.
Over the past few years, as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed a rich repository full of papers, images, and video. All types of information are embraced from faculty publications that have commercial value, to student research with little market value, to the gray world in between.
Initially, when it became clear that articles wouldn’t add themselves to the repository, Paul Royster, knew the library had to do more. “We were determined to make an offer they couldn’t refuse,” he said of the campus community. The library became very proactive in seeking out the materials and doing the legwork to make it easy for the faculty to participate. As more pieces were deposited, the library automatically generated a monthly download report to every author to reinforce the value of making their work available online. Now the repository is where faculty comes first for electronic publishing needs.
In Japan, efforts to promote a repository have been championed by the Digital Repository Federation, a collaborative group of 85 membership libraries from universities and research institutions. “Advocacy alone does not appeal,” says Hideki Uchijima of Japan. “You have to show that is being used and that, therefore, it is useful.” To get used, a repository must be visible. Standardized statistics on downloads from repositories is at the core of this usage-centered approach.
Twelve partners in nine countries are involved in the Digital Repository Networks in Europe (DRIVER). Its vision is to reach all institutions in Europe and worldwide to make all their research publications openly accessible through a digital repository, says Norbert Lossau. The launch is planned for October 2009. The key question remaining is whether to establish a new, independent body or merge with an existing organization, such as SPARC.
*Many faculty members are confused by patchwork and policies that apply when it comes to copy right permission. Take on this issue and make a centralized policy.
*Hunt and gather. Search for articles that are eligible to be posted in a repository and then seek out the author to ask for authorization to deposit.
*Provide scanning and typesetting services. This allows control of quality, resolution and image type. Typesetting documents look professional and useful to the end user. The repository also captures the vital information, such as the abstract, co-authors, date, and original data.
*Offer to upload and post the materials for the faculty.
*Share a monthly report for every author telling them how many times his/her article was downloaded.
*Enhance dissemination of materials by placing links to the repository in Wikipedia, The Online Books Page, WorldCat, and other subject or discipline-based Web sties.
*To expand repository materials, require open access dissertations for PhD students.
*Consider putting books in the repository that might not otherwise be published – because they are too long, too expensive to reproduce or too esoteric.