Glasgow University Library – Case History Submission to Open Repositories 2008: Enlighten Case History

Organisational context

There was interest in open access and eprints software as early as 2001 at Glasgow. An initial eprints service was set up and launched in 2002. This work led to the DAEDALUS Project [1], funded by JISC under the FAIR Programme (Focus on Access to Institutional Resources).

The repository's mission

The repository's evolving mission is to showcase research undertaken by members of the University of Glasgow and to make research outputs such as journal articles freely available to all. The key focus was initially on published and peer-reviewed material. This was formally extended to include the deposit of e-theses from September 2007 [2].

Building a business case took time. By end of the DAEDALUS project in mid-2005 we were able to demonstrate the viability of the repository and demonstrate that we had existing staff with expertise. There was an increased interest in the repository as a result of funding body mandates. The Library made a successful bid for new posts to manage submissions to the repository.

A University statement 'strongly encouraging' deposit was released in April 2006 [3]. In 2007 the University approved the mandatory deposit of electronic theses.

Overview of current contents

Enlighten [4] is the name of our repository service and it includes 3 distinct repositories defined by content type:

  • Glasgow ePrints Service
    This contains records for nearly 3500 published and peer reviewed publications, including books and book chapters. Nearly 1500 of those records include the freely available full text. Material held in the Glasgow ePrints service dates back to February 2004.
  • Glasgow Dspace Service
    This includes a range of non-published research material including pre-prints, powerpoint presentations and non-peer reviewed articles. All of the material held in the DSpace repository is available as full text and there are nearly 600 items in this service.
  • Glasgow Theses Service

A Google search service has been implemented to search across the services.

Overview of current deposit activity

A steady pattern has still not emerged for the deposit of published papers - papers tend to be deposited in fits and starts. We have agreed to add records for biomedical publications, many of which authors are now depositing in UKPMC, and link these to the relevant subject repository. Authors are still interested in adding their 'back catalogues', and getting them to deposit on an ongoing basis is still very challenging. There was a flurry of activity towards end of RAE period due to pending publications staff wished to include by making publicly available by depositing in the repository.

Since the introduction of the theses mandate deposit of this material type has shown a steady pattern. Several theses are deposited each week.

We have not been actively encouraging the deposit of other types of material due to need to update and upgrade the DSpace repository.

Developmental phases

Our work during DAEDALUS has been outlined in detail in numerous articles and presentations and two collections are available in DSpace which include our project reports, presentations and other outputs.

DAEDALUS, Enlighten and Repository Presentations

DAEDALUS, Enlighten and Repository Papers and Reports

Our more recent progress has been charted in a paper published in OCLC Systems and Services called "On the road to Enlighten-ment: establishing an institutional repository service for the University of Glasgow"

Institutional embedding

Full institutional embedding has still not been achieved, partly due to the lack of a mandate and technical challenges [supporting different platforms] ; however work is now undergoing post-RAE to gather the publications submitted for the RAE and to use these to embed deposit as a natural activity in the repository.

Faculty engagement

There has been significant success in a number of areas, but coverage is still patchy and it can be very difficult to maintain momentum. Our advocacy and engagement experiences are documented in the articles and collections mentioned earlier.

Policy formulation

Policies are still evolving in response to changing needs for the repository. Post-RAE a publications database requirement has emerged which we are looking to Enlighten to address.

Hosting and support

This was more problematic after end of the project. A case has been made for this to be improved, but it can be a challenge to get dedicated staff time.

Service sustainability

Sustainability of Enlighten is secure in terms of staff resources and the backing of senior University management.

Key challenges faced

The key challenges still being faced are embedding the repository within the institution and getting technical support onto a secure footing.

Major achievements

  • Successfully transitioning from a JISC funded project, DAEDALUS to an ongoing and supported service, Enlighten.
  • Persuading the University to fund new posts in support of the repository.
  • Achieving an e these mandate.

Important unresolved issues

We suspect that lack of a mandate means that levels of full text deposited will never be very high. In order for Enlighten to remain relevant it is important we take on the challenge of providing a publications database for the University, but this raises concerns that repository will turn into one with high levels of metadata only records. There is a need for more technical support to enable us to take advantage of new repository features ; however, University backing for a publications database should help to resolve this issue.

Morag Greig and William J Nixon, February 2008


  1. DAEDALUS, [back]
  2. Glasgow Theses Service, [back]
  3. Glasgow University Statement on Open Access, [back]
  4. Enlighten, [back]