SUNScholar/Practical guidelines for starting an institutional repository (IR)
Give a person a fish and you feed that person for a day.
Teach a person to fish and you feed that person for a lifetime.
Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for.
Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.
These highly referenced guidelines are targeted at academic institutions world wide, who want to start an online open access research repository archive and who want to build long term support capacity for open scholarship publishing practice. The focus during development of the open system has been long term research repository preservation and interoperability on the internet using the self-hosting value proposition. These guidelines are also an attempt to promote the use of a standardised reference architecture and software release cadence as best practices, for the implementation of DSpace as a trusted institutional digital repository, much the same as we did for our repository, SUNScholar.
Before beginning or continuing your institutional repository project and selecting a repository software platform, it is essential that you read the following written by Dorothea Salo about the wrong ways to manage an online open access research repository:
This seems to be a symptom of many current institutional repositories which must be avoided if they are to succeed.
The symptom being; assigning the wrong people who are digitally illiterate, unskilled, untrained, poorly rewarded, lacking clear management/operational goals and the required resources, to manage open online scholarly publishing systems in the library.
Basic things to consider before starting
It is assumed that the institution is prepared to make provision for the following baseline information technology (IT) infrastructure:
- A primary production data center and two backup data centers in different geophysical locations for the purposes of disaster recovery.
- Institutional internet access for the primary production server.
- A test/development/training server for customisation testing, user training and to use as a gateway platform for software and hardware upgrades.
It is also assumed that the institution is aware of the critical importance of data sovereignty, especially in light of the following;
- Revelations about the American NSA
- The "takedown" campaign by Elsevier
- The "takedown" campaign by the Nature Publishing Group
- The "takedown" campaign by the American Chemical Society
- The "takedown" campaign by the American Civil Engineers Society
12 steps to a preserved / trusted / digital / open access / research repository archive
After reading all of the steps below and then taking time to slowly and carefully install a test prototype system on some spare or old/retired server hardware, it should be possible, with the knowledge and experience gained, to derive a business plan/model to solicit funding or prepare a fairly comprehensive initial capital expenditure foundation budget and then a production implementation plan/schedule for long term support and management.
Step 01 - Open Access Policy, Repository Preservation and Audit Step 02 - Marketing Friendly (Vanity URL), Persistent URL and Preservable Digital Objects Step 03 - Employ Repository Management Personnel Step 04 - Build Repository IT Infrastructure Step 05 - Install DSpace Repository Software Step 06 - Repository System Backup & Monitoring Step 07 - Repository Launch and Registration with Harvesters Step 08 - Capture Research Records and Submit Research Items Step 09 - Repository Self-Help and News Step 10 - Engage Research Partners Step 11 - Continuous System Improvement and Maintenance (Preserve forever) Step 12 - Repository Support and Management Help
Use the online wiki when doing test/development/production/backup system installations because the wiki has the latest information. See the links below.
Convenient Shortened Web Links
Please use the following shortened links when referencing this guide in academic literature or on other web sites.
PS: It is also easy to remember should you want to do an online presentation using this guide, to promote/solicit institutional support.
- Click here to view the IRTalk mailing list archive that provided further insight for the guide.
- 2015 - NEYLON - PRINCIPLES OF OPEN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
- 2015 - EU - INVESTING IN DIGITAL CURATION
- 2015 - ACRL - LIBRARIES AS PUBLISHERS
- 2015 - CRAWFORD - THE ECONOMICS OF OPEN ACCESS
- 2015 - POYNDER - OPEN ACCESS AND THE RESEARCH EXCELLENCE FRAMEWORK: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS YOKED TOGETHER BY HEFCE
- 2015 - OSI - MAPPING THE FUTURE OF SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING
- 2015 - RECODE - PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING OPEN DATA POLICY
- 2015 - SHAPIN - THE VIRTUE OF SCIENTIFIC THINKING
- 2014 - SMITH - OPEN ACCESS
- 2014 - WELLER - THE BATTLE FOR OPEN
- 2014 - SWARTZ - THE INTERNET'S OWN BOY
- 2014 - SUTTON/CHADWELL - THE FUTURE OF OPEN ACCESS AND LIBRARY PUBLISHING
- 2014 - CLIR - THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES
- 2014 - UKSG ROGERS - OPEN SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH MANAGEMENT
- 2014 - BROWN - SOME THOUGHTS ON JOURNAL IMPACT FACTOR
- 2014 - NISO - OPEN ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE
- 2014 - NISO - DRAFT OPEN ACCESS METADATA STANDARDS
- 2014 - JISC - DIGITAL REPOSITORIES
- 2014 - ICSU - REPORT ON OPEN ACCESS
- 2014 - PINKER - WHY ACADEMICS STINK AT WRITING
- 2014 - ITHAKA - DRIVING WITH DATA
- 2012 - EIFL - IRYNA KUCHMA - 22 STEPS TO AN OPEN ACCESS RESEARCH REPOSITORY
- 2012 - Uzuegbu - Academic and Research Institutions Repository: a catalyst for access to development information in Africa
- 2012 - CURRY - SICK OF IMPACT FACTORS
- 2007 - NISO - A FRAMEWORK OF GUIDANCE FOR BUILDING GOOD DIGITAL COLLECTIONS
- 2007 - OCLC - TRUSTWORTHY REPOSITORIES AUDIT AND CERTIFICATION
- 2005 - WILLINSKY - CONVERGENCE OF OPEN ACCESS, OPEN SOURCE AND OPEN SCIENCE
- 2005 - SWAN - OPEN ACCESS SELF_ARCHIVING - AN INTRODUCTION
- 2003 - LYNCH - INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES: ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SCHOLARSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE