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Institutional Repository Interaction With Research Users: A Review of Current Practice

An article by Rosemary Russell and Michael Day of UKOLN has been published in the first Open Access issue of the New Review of Academic Librarianship, which was sponsored by JISC. This special issue on dissemination models in scholarly communication was guest-edited by Hazel Woodward, Cranfield University.

Rosemary Russell and Michael Day, "Institutional Repository Interaction With Research Users: A Review of Current Practice." New Review of Academic Librarianship, Volume 16, Issue S1, 2010, pp. 116-131.

Abstract: The article reviews research that has examined scholarly users and institutional repository interaction within the wider scholarly communications environment. The focus is on research users as repository content creators and as eventual content users. The text explores how institutional motivations for implementing repositories match against user needs, and how consultation with users might be conducted. Some examples of innovative tailored services resulting from user needs analysis are described. The benefits of early consultation are highlighted, as well as the importance of tailoring advocacy to the needs of specific scholarly subject contexts. Understanding and engaging users mean that the benefits of repositories are more likely to be more fully realized.

The article then sets out some of the current and future challenges for repository development. This includes briefly looking at opportunities for institutional and subject repositories to work together in complementary ways and consideration of research data requirements. Finally, the key area of integration is considered, first, in terms of embedding repositories in research practice, so that they become part of the researcher's daily work environment; and second, repository integration with other institutional information systems is explored to enable the sharing of repository content across other services.

JISC programme director Neil Jacobs comments, "The contributions have come from all over the world and show that open access and scholarly communications clearly are international issues. There are huge benefits to society in making the outputs of publicly funded research publicly available and thus facilitating the free exchange of knowledge."

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