Advocacy

A group of people engaging in a discussion

Mandatory OA Deposition

Over recent years there has been much discussion about out the possible advantages and disadvantages of mandating that authors deposit a version of their work in an institutional repository. Whilst in the UK at present only a few institutions have adopted this approach, it is notable that this number is on the increase, and others are considering exploring this option as a way to ensure more comprehensive deposition of research. UK Higher Education Institutions with a 'mandate', or 'publications policy' currently include University College London, The University of Glasgow, Royal Holloway, The University of Nottingham and The University of Stirling. ROARMAP details many more institutional policies.

Funders Mandates

Mandates to deposit are also now deployed by research funders. Whilst these are still a relatively new development, and as a consequence many academics are unaware of the full implication for their working practises, it is notable that much less resistance has been articulated to these policies than those coming from the institution. Over the coming months, doubtless awareness of these mandates will increase and a broader appreciation the scholarly community reaction will become apparent. Meanwhile the JULIET tool, maintained by SHERPA, is a prime source of further information on this issue.

Making Presentations

Promoting the development and use of an institutional repository inevitably involves making presentations to a wide variety of audiences. The repository manager should take all opportunities that are available to them for presenting information about the repository to the various stakeholders within the institution. This can range from high profile dedicated repository launch events, the more formal opportunities for example at departmental meetings, research committees and other internal seminars through to simply taking the time to discuss the repository at a chance meeting over coffee or at the information desk within the library.

Keeping the messages being presented simple and highlighting the benefits of an institutional repository are key promotional tools. The content of each presentation will be defined by local circumstances and it is worth trying to tailor the content to the audience concerned, for example an audience of academics may appreciate hearing more about funder mandates and the requirements of their grants to place a copy of their work in an open access repository. The RSP has produced a briefing paper on repository promotion. A collection of repository related presentations produced by the SHERPA Partnership, and available for reuse, are available online.

Common Issues Raised in Advocacy

When repository staff are promoting open access and the repository, they are often faced with objections such as "I need to publish in high impact journals so can't make my work open access". This page highlights a number of these with suggested responses and supporting evidence.

The KULTIVATE Project has created an Advocacy Toolkit which is geared to promoting repositories which include creative arts research.

RSP staff are available to come and speak at high profile repository events within institutions, please contact support@rsp.ac.uk for further information.

Find out more from the JISC Digital Repositories infoKit