JISC Final Report: IncReASe (Increasing Repository Content through Automation and Services)

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  • R.E. Proudfoot
  • A. Sharma-Oates
  • M.M. Middleton
  • B. Shipman


Publication details

DatePublished - May 2009
PublisherWhite Rose Consortium
Original languageEnglish


The IncReASe (Increasing Repository Content through Automation and Services) was an eighteen month project (subsequently extended to twenty months) to enhance White Rose Research Online (WRRO)1. WRRO is a shared repository of research outputs (primarily publications) from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York; it runs on the EPrints open source repository platform. The repository was created in 2004 and had steady growth but, in common with many other similar repositories, had difficulty in achieving a “critical mass” of content and in becoming truly embedded within researchers’ workflows. The main aim of the IncReASe project was to assess ingestion routes into WRRO with a view to lowering barriers to deposit. We reviewed the feasibility of bulk import of pre-existing metadata and/or full-text research outputs, hoping this activity would have a positive knock-on effect on repository growth and embedding. Prior to the project, we had identified researchers’ reluctance to duplicate effort in metadata creation as a significant barrier to WRRO uptake; we investigated how WRRO might share data with internal and external IT systems. This work included a review of how WRRO, as an institutional based repository, might interact with the subject repository of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project addressed four main areas: (i) researcher behaviour: we investigated researcher awareness, motivation and workflow through a survey of archiving activity on the university web sites, a questionnaire and discussions with researchers (ii) bulk import: we imported data from local systems, including York’s submission data for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and developed an import plug-in for use with the arXiv2 repository (iii) interoperability: we looked at how WRRO might interact with university and departmental publication databases and ESRC’s repository. (iv) metadata: we assessed metadata issues raised by importing publication data from a variety of sources. A number of outputs from the project have been made available from the IncReASe project web site http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/increase/. The project highlighted the low levels of researcher awareness of WRRO - and of broader open access issues, including research funders’ deposit requirements. We designed some new publicity materials to start to address this. Departmental publication databases provided a useful jumping off point for advocacy and liaison; this activity was helpful in promoting awareness of WRRO. Bulk import proved time consuming – both in terms of adjusting EPrints plug-ins to incorporate different datasets and in the staff time required to improve publication metadata. A number of deposit scenarios were developed in the context of our work with ESRC; we concentrated on investigating how a local deposit of a research paper and attendant metadata in WRRO might be used to populate ESRC’s repository. This work improved our understanding of researcher workflows and of the SWORD protocol as a potential (if partial) solution to the single deposit, multiple destination model we wish to develop; we think the prospect of institutional repository / ESRC data sharing is now a step closer. IncReASe experienced some staff recruitment difficulties. It was also necessary to adapt the project to the changing IT landscape at the three partner institutions – in particular, the introduction of a centralised publication management system at the University of Leeds. Although these factors had some impact on deliverables, the aims and objectives of the project were largely achieved.

Bibliographical note

Project web site http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/increase/

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