18 Jan 2013

Strategies for encouraging IR deposits

I attended last Wednesday’s RSP webinar, where Rebecca Kennison of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University gave us a flavour of their IR advocacy approach.

Given the prominence and sheer scale of their IR, it is probably no surprise to anyone that such a sophisticated operation deploys clever advocacy strategies that seem to successfully capture research output at every opportunity. 

From the outset Rebecca noted that their approach is perfectly suitable for any IR operation: I agree in principle with the caveat in mind, though, that adequate manpower is in place.

In many ways, Columbia’s advocacy approach revolves around common sense. The items listed below indicate as much:
  • Interact with the research community in such a way that individual researcher’s needs are met at all times
  • Keep communication simple (thus effective)
  • IR operations should form part of the researcher’s workflow (an unspectacular and natural extension of their activities)
  • Create a personal feeling (get out there physically and talk to people)
  • Appeal to vanity (healthy egos do exist)
  • Be mindful of what’s going on in the publishing community that your researchers are active in
  • Accept anything researchers want preserved (data sets included)
  • Offer prompt solutions to individual problems (copyright, deposit etc.)
  • Maintain meaningful contact with all IR stakeholders
    • Communicate responses to news coverage of research
    • Utilise social media to keep people in the loop (#, @)
    • Create and distribute monthly statistics
People activities include new-student orientations, a steady presence at departmental meetings and the running of workshops that cover dissertation preparation, copyright awareness and personal data management. Library, teacher and administration colleagues represent natural champions for IRs as they frequently interact with the target community.

Most importantly, the act of self-depositing must be a straightforward affair. Interestingly, Columbia University enables users to tweet their contribution at the point of self-deposit; self-depositing researchers can thus spread the news instantly.

Another important factor is SEO for Google Scholar. Check out in particular Indexing Repository Content in Google Scholar and the Google Scholar Blog.

I also like the fact that dissertations published on Proquest are included in their IR via metadata feedback including the full text of items.

Interesting is also the Open Access Resolution workflow deployed by Columbia and the ultimate scenario of a smooth self-deposit process (refer to archived webinar for detail).

(As an aside, also check out COAR's IR training materials)


Post a Comment