SUNScholar/Practical guidelines for starting an institutional repository (IR)
"Half the job is in the discovery; the other half is having the courage to present the findings.” -Galileo-
“The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” -Albert Einstein-
Before beginning or continuing your institutional repository project, 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 and lacking clear management/operational goals, to manage open online scholarly publishing systems in the library.
These highly referenced guidelines are targeted at academic institutions in developing countries world wide, who want to start an open access research repository and who want to know in detail what is required and how to do it step-by-step. The focus during development of the open system has been long term research repository preservation, security, stability and interoperability on the internet using the self-hosting value proposition.
These guidelines are also an attempt to promote the use of a reference architecture and software release cadence as best practices, for the implementation of DSpace as a trusted institutional digital repository, as we did for our repository, SUNScholar. See link below.
In addition, Stellenbosch University Library has implemented open access journals and open access conferences. See the links below for more details.
Basic things to consider before starting
It is assumed that the institution is prepared to make provision for the following baseline information technology (IT) requirements:
- 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 permanent / trusted / online / open access / research repository
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 Research, Support and Management Help
Latest information for installations
Use the online wiki when doing test/development/production/backup system installations because the wiki has the latest information. See the links below.
http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/DSpace http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/Upgrading http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/System_Admin http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/Optimisations http://wiki.lib.sun.ac.za/index.php/SUNScholar/Customisation
Shortened Web Link
Please use the following shortened link 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.
- 2014 - JISC - DIGITAL REPOSITORIES
- Click here to review a list of source documentation consulted during the write-up of this guide.
- Click here to view the IRTalk mailing list archive that provided further insight for the guide.