Tuesday, December 04, 2007

goals and vision for a repository

Last week I had the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with some folks about our Repository. In doing so I was able to get at some really simplified statements about our activities.

Why a Repository?

  • A growing body of the scholarly communications and research produced in our institutions exists solely in digital form.
  • Valuable assets -- secondary or gray scholarship such as proceedings, white papers, presentations, working papers, and datasets -- are being lost or not reproduced.
  • Numerous online digital collections and databases produced through research activity are not formally managed and are at risk.
  • An institutional repository is needed as a trusted system to permanently archive, steward, and manage access to the intellectual work – both research and teaching – of a university.
  • Open Access, Open Access, Open Access and Preservation, Preservation, Preservation.
What's the vision for a Repository?
  • A new scholarly publishing paradigm: an outlet for the open distribution of scholarly output as part of the open access movement.
  • A trusted digital repository for collections.
  • A cumulative and perpetual archive for an institution.
What does success look like?
  • Improved open access and visibility of digital scholarship and collections.
  • Participation from a variety of units, departments, and disciplines at the institution.
  • Usable process and standards for adding content.
  • Content is actively added.
  • Content is used: searched and cited and downloaded.
  • There is a wide variety of content types.
  • Simple counts are NOT a metric.
I really appreciate having the chance to formulate ideas like these that have nothing to do with the technology but everything to do with why we're doing what we do. I want to work this up into something more formal to share broadly.


Dorothea said...

What you're missing -- and I say this not to criticize but (I hope) to be helpful -- is a SERVICE vision. In everything you've said, it's as though the stuff that is now getting lost is going to magically appear in the IR.

It's not. And it's going to take a lot of heartbreaking effort to find it and collect it.

Most IRs -- nearly all! -- do not understand this at the outset, which is why I expect at least one high-profile IR failure in 2008. You have the chance to set the terms of the discussion, however. DO IT.

Leslie Johnston said...

It's not critical at all.

I do have a nascent service vision, but it's quite as elegant yet. I'll post it.